Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Stained, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Stained is a story of Jocelyn, a girl coming of age in the 1970s in southern New Hampshire. Her boyfriend Benny can't see her anymore because his priest has told him that Jocelyn is stained and "of the Devil." Meanwhile, the star athlete gabe has gone missing. through a series of flashbacks, Joss tells the story of her changing relationship with gabe, and a mystery unravels about what happened to gabe and why he disappeared.

Jacobson has a rich style and the alternating chapters (one current, one flashback) is an effective device. The story has perhaps a bit too many untied-up moments (so often a habit of modern novels) but it's a good page turner. The target readership may find it a bit odd to read about life in the days of their mothers, but may not even realize the historical context.

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