Monday, February 9, 2009

The Patron Saint of Butterflies (YA Challenge 2009 #9 of 12)

This was a one-day read for me. It's not a short book or a fluffy book by any stretch...the story was just so compelling and sad that I just have to see how it turned out. Cecilia Galante's first young adult novel alternates between the views of Agnes and Honey, two teenage girls living in a commune in Connecticut called Mount Blessing. Under their leader, Emmanuel, the people of Mount Blessing live their lives according to stringent rules, the disobedience of which produces harsh physical consequences inflicted by Emmanuel. Honey is disillusioned, scared, and wants out of Mount Blessing. Agnes wants to be a perfect believer and truly believes what Emmanuel has told her about being a Christian and what God expects of her.
The Patron Saint of Butterflies reminded me in an odd way of The Witch of Blackbird Pond - both of these books made me reel from what some people believe it means to be Christian. The way they treat each other is so repugnant to me. In both of these books, God is a vengeful taskmaster who is waiting to punish those who sin and people take it upon themselves to judge others by what they believe God would think about their behavior.
I truly could not stop reading this book, it was a 1A.M. finisher for me. Highly recommended.

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