Although Virginia Donato and Ivy Morell were once very close friends, now in their teen years they have drifted apart. Still neighbors, fourteen-year-old Virginia suddenly confessed to Ivy that she was visited by an angel and she would soon deliver a miracle. She insisted that she wanted Ivy to know what was revealed to Virginia so that she could confirm the miracle when it happened. Over time, Ivy began to distance herself from Virginia because the Donato’s seem to be trying to keep them away from one another.
In the meantime, the Donato family, former Catholics, was forced to attend a secret invitation-only church founded by oldest son, Paul. He was the charismatic leader of an extremist church that used violence as a way to bring the “End Days” to fulfillment in his time. The author used flashbacks written in italics to show the reader how far Virginia’s older brother had drifted from his once devout Catholic beliefs.
What followed next was a church leader who led his parishners down a dangerous path, a family torn apart as they tried to find ways to avoid the new church, and a teenager who said she was visited by the angel Gabriel and was now going to have a child.
A rather strange thread throughout the novel was the sudden gathering of crows in either a tall pine tree or the spreading maple in Ivy’s backyard. Her dad told her that such gatherings were known as a murder, and that people associated them with death. Ivy’s online study of the birds revealed they could foretell the future.
Virginia is author Susan Hughes first young adult novel after being published in almost every genre of children’s literature. Times have certainly changed more than I realized. Back in my day as a teenager this type of book probably would not have been published for teens and young adults. However, I am sure there are many young people who will enjoy this storyline.
While parents may want to review this novel before they allow their teens to read the psychological thriller, the storyline is interesting and engaging providing an increasing tension throughout until the thought-provoking end. The obvious spiritual undertone will sound familiar to those who know their scripture.
A special thank you goes to Bostick Communications for providing a complimentary copy of Virginia for review. If you are interested in purchasing this young adult novel, you can find it at Amazon.com.