This Gorgeous Game

209p. 978-0-37431-472-9.
Gr 7-Up Seventeen-year-old Olivia wins a prestigious award that includes the opportunity to attend a writing workshop at the local Catholic university taught by a successful novelist whom she idolizes. Olivia is thrilled: her dreams of being a writer are becoming a reality. While basking in Father Mark's attention, she becomes uneasy as his actions become more pervasive and possessive. Caught by her awe of him both as an author and a priest, she questions her own discomfort as the emails, texts, and requests for her time and attention leave her confused, secretive, and defensive. Hiding this predicament from her family and friends is further complicated by her attraction to a fellow student. Throughout Olivia's story, Freitas alludes to actual events in 1966 when Catholic priest Thomas Merton fell in love with a student nurse assigned to his care. Freitas has skillfully woven Merton's reflections of his historically documented "gorgeous game" into her fictitious exploration of the effect of stalking, as told through a series of Olivia's writing exercises. A nun helps her realize that she can't and shouldn't have to face this problem alone. With the support of close friends and Sister June, Olivia is able to confront the situation. This novel will resonate with teens who struggle with what appear to be impossible situations and come to terms with the desire to receive attention however unwanted it may be. The message that stalking is not the fault of the victim is especially important."Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
Seventeen-year-old Olivia is elated to take a summer fiction seminar at Holy Mary University. She's honored to have famous novelist Father Mark Brendan as her personal mentor--until his attention becomes obsessive. Freitas poignantly conveys Olivia's feelings of confusion and shame and, eventually, her realization that stalking is as criminal as physical assault.

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