In a lyrical and hard-hitting exploration of betrayal and healing, the son of a Connecticut socialite comes to terms with his abuse at the hands of a beloved priest.
From the moment readers see Aidan escape his mother’s Christmas Eve party to snort Adderall in his absent father’s opulent office, it is clear that the teen is unhappy. Some of the reasons emerge when Aidan witnesses Father Greg, a priest he greatly admires, in an intimate—and, refreshingly, not graphically described—moment with a younger boy. The first thing Aidan feels in reaction to the sight is hurt that Aidan himself is not the only boy to have received Father Greg’s attention. Only over time, and through the cracks of Aidan’s denial and attempts to ignore the truth, do readers begin to see other reactions: anger, disgust, the need to re-enact Father Greg’s coercions with his peers. The story is set in late 2001 and early 2002, and the news stories of the time—the 9/11 attacks, the capture of John Walker Lindh, and eventually, devastatingly, the Catholic Church abuse scandals—are woven in easily and seamlessly. Each of Aidan’s relationships is carefully and subtly drawn, revealed slowly through Aidan’s elegant, pained and often circumspect narration.
Often bleak, eventually hopeful and beautifully told. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)