Dark Deed or Virgin Birth?
Who is the father of Charity's Child? 16-year-old Charity Baker has her own crazy ideas but even her loyal friend Joanne find them hard to believe.
Attractive enthusiast Charity joins the Crabapple Christian Fellowship and a number of the ‘Crabbies’, including Alan the assistant pastor, fall for her charms. When Charity shocks everyone by revealing that she is pregnant, Alan is the prime suspect.
As the story reaches its disturbing climax, darkness is revealed in unexpected places and we learn with Joanne that many things in Charity's life are not as they seem.
This powerful tale of teenage sexuality, religious fanaticism, self-harm and other highly topical issues explores the struggles of two young women striving to break free of cultural expectations and oppression.
I really wanted this particular book to do well: from email discussions with its author I knew it had an interesting central premise; and that she is a fluent, entertaining writer.
This is almost a good book, but it’s spoiled by duplications and lapses in logic. In the first three pages, when Charity is introduced, there are several passages which tell us how lovely she is: by the third one, I was irritated by the repetition, and consequently by her. And if the church around which the story centres only has a congregation of seven or eight people, how can it afford both a pastor and an assistant pastor, both with families, neither of whom seem to have any other means of support?
These problems, and the odd punctuation errors (an unnecessary question-mark on page two; a misused comma on page seven) meant that I had reached my quota of mistakes by page nineteen; but the potential of the story kept me reading a lot further.
I'd really like to see this book perked up: I wasn't keen on the illustration used on the front cover, which is dark and muddy-looking; the back cover copy really needs to be re-written as it is full of cliché and does little to spark my interest. As for the text, it needs a strong line-edit and then it might just stand a good chance of commercial publication.
Number of pages of the main narrative read: nineteen