Virgin Territory

218p. 978-1-60684-081-8.
Gr 9 Up—When the golf course where he caddies for the summer closes due to mobs that follow the appearance of a tree blotch that looks remarkably like the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dylan finds himself involved with new friends in surprising escapades. Since the death of his mother, he and his father left New York City for Jupiter, FL, trying to reinvent their lives. Doug tries to live up to his obligations as father of Dylan and son of Marie, in whose house they live. Marie slips in and out of lucidity and is regularly on the lam from the nursing home that provides her care. Now that the town is being invaded by the followers of sightings of the Virgin Mary, Dylan take up with exotic newcomer Angela and her pals Desirée and Crispy. These kids are not bad, but they do some things that are fairly thoughtless, discovering along the way the consequences of their actions and gaining insight into their motivations and those of the adults who should be in charge, but clearly are not. Eclectic in spirit, exploring sexual desire, pondering the mysterious connections between people, there's nothing religious here, despite the title. Nor is virginity the topic, although Dylan loses his. It's just Lecesne gently laying bare both the humor and pain that accompany love and loss.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO
After his mother dies, Dylan and his father retreat to Florida to be closer to Dylan's aging grandmother. Soon, a Virgin Mary sighting in tree bark floods the town with worshippers, including Angela who helps Dylan let go and move forward with his life. The entertaining, sometimes emotional story breezes right along with its well-formulated characters.

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