Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kindred by Tammar Stein

Miriam is so frightened by a visit from the angel Raphael in her college dorm during spring break that she wets herself. Meanwhile, her twin brother Moses has been chatting with Satan. As you can imagine from this set-up, the siblings end up working at cross-purposes. Their parents are both professors of theology - their father is a rabbi and their mother is a former Catholic nun. Miriam, however, isn't prepared to talk to either parent about angelic visitations. She won't even talk to them about her painful bowel problems.

I found Miriam's struggles with the symptoms, embarrassments and eventual diagnosis of Crohn's disease the most interesting aspect of the book. Miriam manages to resolve her crisis of faith, and this is how she sums up her feelings: "God watches over us and shows us the way, while the devil trips us and hopes that we fall. We can keep each other company. We can lend a helping hand. But we have to do the walking ourselves."

It's not really my cup of tea. I'd recommend this to teens who are questioning their faith and who also enjoy some paranormal aspects in a realistic, contemporary setting. Grade 8-12

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