Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Sweet Jesus by Christine Pountney

Publisher: McLelland and Stewart
Pages: 320
Source: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 11, 2012
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Christine Pountney’s dazzling and original novel, Sweet Jesus, is a work of deep feeling, wit, and piercing observation. Set mainly on Vancouver Island, in Toronto, and in the American Midwest, it tells the story of three siblings who, in the week before the 2012 US Presidential election, reunite and set off on a journey that will transform their lives.

Connie Foster, a mother of three young children, learns that her husband’s attempt to maintain their lifestyle has led them to financial ruin. Her sister, Hannah Crowe, a writer, desperately wants to have a child but the man she loves is determined not to. Zeus Ortega, their much younger adopted brother, who left the family home when he was only fifteen, is living in Chicago with his boyfriend and working as a therapeutic clown in a children’s hospital. Prompted by a heartbreaking loss, he quits his job and decides to search for his birth parents in New Mexico. Together, the three siblings head south and, on the way, they visit a mega church in Wichita, Kansas, where their mother, Rose, once had a powerful faith experience, and where they are confronted by the politics of the evangelical right.

What unfolds is a captivating story about three people bound by family ties and caught between loyalty and desire, searching for wholeness and finding something more real in its place. Achingly human, infused with sparkling intelligence and dark humour, and revealing of our foibles and our grace, Sweet Jesus illuminates how compassion goes a long way in the absence of certainty. Christine Pountney is one of Canada’s most exciting new writers.

My Review:

I am in love with books that deal with family, showing differences and how through everything they are the ones that are there for you in the end. Pountney emphasizes in her story how each child in a family can take such a different path with life when raised in a religious place. When I first started reading this book I was a little nervous thinking that it was going to be a heavily religious story where the ideals are pushed onto a reader, but it turned out to be nothing like that. This book was more about family than anything else.

Pountney's writing style is elegant, she describes scenes in vivid detail (which usually doesn't work in stories, but for this one was the perfect writing style). I enjoy how the book begins with the story of each of the three characters, Hannah, Connie and Zeus and shows us where their lives have led them to now. As the book goes on the stories come together and we get glimpses of their pasts as well as their present states. It was interesting to see how three children who grew up in the same place differ from each other so much in life and how they handle their situations.

The journey these characters take with one another teach them a lot about themselves and how their pasts influenced their futures. As a reader it really made me think over my life and how I handle situations myself. I found that this book taught me a lot about myself by the end of it. What I really loved was that this book teaches someone that religious faith isn't everything and can't help you through every problem. The characters learn along the way that belief in themselves is the main thing in life.

I was a little disappointed with how the book ended as a whole, I wanted more closure with the characters. Everything is left very open and up in the air and I want to know where the characters are going to take their lives after their journey.

This book is very easy to connect with and I would love to go back to it in the future to help me reflect on different points of life. Pountney has brought readers a beautiful and thought provoking novel.

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit, the title of this book had me thinking it was going to be one that pushed religious views onto its readers as well, so I'm glad to hear that it wasn't! This book actually sounds really good! I love the idea of these three siblings who were raised together, yet can grow to live such different lives. That's how it really is, isn't it? Great review as always, Andrea! I'm off to add this one to my TBR list! :D



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...