Jocelyn has two boys in her life. And a priest.
Gabe has shared fourteen years of growing up next door. He's "a golden boy, an all-star." Yet now, in the spring of 1975, he's missing, disappeared on the brink of senior year at Weaver High. The whole town is set to go searching for him.
Benny has only been in New Hampshire since January, yet for Joss, he's the answer to a long-held prayer to be someone in somebody's eyes.
She loves them both.
Father Warren — hair turning white and "kind of cool in his black clothes" — is a link between the three of them. Or a wedge. Or a threat. For Joss, the priest holds power over her sense of herself; for Benny, power over his soul; for Gabe, so mysterious and alluring, he holds the power of destiny.
In a story shot with suspense, these four characters, and the lives of others they've touched in their small town, intermingle with unforgettable force.
Jennifer Jacobson received her master's in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has taught pre-school through sixth grade and has served as Curriculum Coordinator, Head of Studies, and Language Arts Specialist in several New England schools. Jennifer is the author of ten books for teachers, including the parenting series that began with How is My First Grader Doing in School: What to Expect and How to Help, and award-winning children's books including AndyShane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle.
"Provocative--and timely." -- "Kirkus Reviews"
Although set in the 1970s, this well-written and suspenseful story deals with contemporary issues. Flashbacks of Joss's childhood adventures with Gabe-who's missing-are wedged between chapters describing Joss's uncertainty over Benny, her God-fearing boyfriend who recently severed ties with her because of their physical attraction to one another. Joss has worried about having a "stained" soul ever since she was denied First Communion due to missing Sunday school. A disturbing incident involving Gabe and his cousin Jay heightened Joss's childhood fear that she was somehow tainted. The culminating blow comes when Benny admits that Father Warren told him to end his relationship with Joss because she is "in partnership with the devil." Meanwhile, Joss's memories guide her to Gabe's hideout after she's led to believe that his disappearance is also linked to Father Warren. The final message is one of hope and salvation after a shocking secret vindicates Joss, freeing her from needless guilt. Jacobson's admirable first work for young adults is one in which controversial topics are delicately handled. Provocative-and timely. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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