Monday, November 27, 2006

Kelly Kerney: Born Again

I picked up this novel last month, and I honestly did not want to put it down. Kelly Kerney's debut novel about a bible-quiz champion who confronts Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" is bright, funny, and thoughtful.

I love coming of age novels...the different ways that young people "cross over" into adulthood and begin to see the world differently is endlessly fascinating to me...and this one is especially enjoyable. Kerney's exploration of her character Mel's spiritual crisis/awakening is sensitive and true, and she tackles some very real, tough issues with grace and a sense of humor.

As The San Francisco Chronicle puts it:

Throughout, Kerney successfully reveals the manifold contradictions and inconsistencies inherent in adult life..."Born Again" is a humorous portrait of an adolescent awakening from the blind faith of childhood and learning to see, think and believe with adult awareness.
The changes in Mel's outlook are depicted so beautifully. Despite all the huge and radical things that are going on around her, it is the details that make up the real difference in Mel's life...things as simple as fishing, light, and the shape of a tailbone change subtly and essentially in Mel's mind as the story is told. These details are what make her such a believable and likable character. I do believe it's the small details that ultimately define our "cross-over" or "coming of age," and it's the small details that continue to shape us and change the way we view the world well into our adulthood.

You can learn more about Kelly Kerney here.

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