FICTION

Immaculate

464p. Viking. May 2015. ebook available. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451469625.
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Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Mina is in a serious but not sexually active relationship with her popular boyfriend Nate. After a strange encounter with a mysterious woman, Mina discovers she is pregnant. Maintaining that she's a virgin and the baby's conception is a miracle, Mina cannot explain her divine situation. Her incredible story earns judgement and exclusion from family and friends and eventually lands her in the center of a terrible media storm. Obsessed with protecting her child, Mina maintains her faith in its miraculous nature. The dynamic characters move the action forward, relatable in their various reactions to Mina's story. The unusual premise compels readers to want to know how it all ends, but the drama feels tidied up quickly, and the ending is anticlimactic. More questions than answers are provided about the nature of the pregnancy and the fate of the child, but the narrative is inclusive of multiple types of explanations; Mina explores stories of miraculous conceptions in various religions, and her message is more about faith in general than a specific set of beliefs.
VERDICT A unique page-turner mixing humor and heart, this is a thought-provoking take on miracles and motherhood.

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