STARRED REVIEW
February 2014

In the bleak midwinter

By Brendan Kiely
Review by

In the winter of 2001, the tragedy of 9/11 is still fresh, especially for 16-year-old Aidan Donovan. There’s something to fear everywhere, and with this fear comes isolation. Only charismatic and vibrant Father Greg offers certainty, and maybe even love, in a world that seems to be falling apart. As Aidan turns to drugs, alcohol and a new set of friends, he begins to question his relationship with Father Greg.

Share this Article:

In the winter of 2001, the tragedy of 9/11 is still fresh, especially for 16-year-old Aidan Donovan. There’s something to fear everywhere, and with this fear comes isolation. Only charismatic and vibrant Father Greg offers certainty, and maybe even love, in a world that seems to be falling apart. As Aidan turns to drugs, alcohol and a new set of friends, he begins to question his relationship with Father Greg. Faced with the possibility of a girlfriend for the first time and a classmate who may share Father Greg’s dirty secrets, Aidan has more to ponder, including his own sexuality and his belief system.

This hard-hitting literary story propels Aidan’s problems even more when the widespread priest sexual abuse scandal hits the news. Author Brendan Kiely raises common questions of abuse victims as the teen wonders if everyone will read his face and know what happened, whether Father Greg’s attention was really love or abuse, and who is to blame. The Gospel of Winter speaks soundly to the current generation of YA readers, who will understand Aidan’s distrust, trepidation and desire for honest relationships.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Gospel of Winter

The Gospel of Winter

By Brendan Kiely
Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN 9781442484894

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.