By Susan Hughes
Kids Can Press Ltd
Virginia by Susan Hughes is a fascinating book, no doubt about it. I'm one of those readers, however, that still remembers an old phrase to not discuss politics, sex or religion. Of course, there are no such restrictions these days and anything is up for the creative imagination of writers. Virginia is a young adult book. Let me make it personal, I would not want any of my nieces or nephews to read the book without discussion with an adult. Call me old-fashioned if you will. On the other hand, if you are followers of my reviews, you will see that I'm pretty liberal in topics I've reviewed for adults. Sooooo, just to clarify, I feel that some books just need a forewarning...when aimed toward our younger readers.
Virginia is a young teenager from a family who formerly attended the Catholic Church faithfully. Both mother and father apparently were family storytellers who used the Bible to teach their children. Virginia is the youngest, with two brothers and three sisters. Unfortunately, the father died, and perhaps was even killed if you read carefully, and suddenly Paul, the oldest takes over the family.
Before long Paul has denounced the Catholic Church and has set up a secret, by invitation only church with him as the leader. It is a small congregation. While Paul has forced his family to attend, both Virginia and Joe her closest brother have issues with what is happening. Joe is strong enough that he outright refuses to participate with anything related to the church. Virginia tries various ways to stay away, while her mother is developing a method of escape into a world of not remembering things for most of the time.
Virginia is visited by an angel--Gabriel in fact. Of course, he is dressed like today's young people and makes her guess who he is, but uses the language of olden times to tell her that he brings a message from God--that Virginia has been chosen to have a child. This child will help bring about the second coming.
An intelligent girl, she calls a former childhood friend Ivy. They had not been close friends for quite some time, but Ivy immediately heard how her voice sounded and went to see what was wrong. After several attempts, Ivy was finally able to get Virginia alone and she was told that Virginia was going to have a child. No, she wasn't pregnant yet, but she wanted somebody to know in advance so that when it happened, she would be able to support the facts.
Ivy immediately asked who and how an individual had gotten into Virginia's bedroom and gently prodded to see if she had been touched in any way. Ivy was a person who could not let her friends face something alone and fortunately would not let go of trying to help Virginia. Finally, she is able to convince Joe of the situation and they join together...
Virginia by Susan Hughes is very well written and the storyline results in a great psychological suspense. Though they failed, Ivy and Joe really are great characters who did everything possible to try to support and save Virginia--Virginia who had heard and seen everything and created the only answers she could conceive of so she could stop what was planned...
This is not a happy-ever-after ending. I'd call this a Parental-Guidance required book, in my opinion...
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G. A. Bixler