DAYS OF LITTLE TEXAS by R. A. Nelson

DAYS OF LITTLE TEXAS

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

An intriguing premise collapses in Nelson’s latest (Breathe My Name, 2006). Ronald Earl is Little Texas, a teen preacher with healing hands and growing doubts, whose ministry has only three other players—an old preacher, Ronald Earl’s great-aunt, a revivalist by birth, inclination and trade, and Certain Certain, who exists primarily to make the plot work. Three competing elements—a crisis of faith, a ghostly love story (with Lucy, a girl Little Texas failed to save) and a haunted plantation—never quite jell. Poor pacing unbalances the whole, and many plot points never quite make sense or seem contrived, from how the ministry operates to Certain Certain’s convenient flair for exposition. Some issues—Lucy’s connection to the plantation—might be attributable to God’s mysterious plan, but even Ronald Earl has trouble with that. The story’s moral grounding in the evils of slavery is heavy-handed, and too much is telegraphed for the first-person narration to feel genuine, despite the skillful, colorful language. Ultimately, no amount of faith can fill the holes checkering this one. (Paranormal fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85593-1
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2009




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