Seventeen-year-old Olivia Peters has long dreamed of becoming a writer. So she's absolutely over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and much-adored local priest Mark D. Brendan, selects her from hundreds of other applicants as the winner of the Emerging Writers High School Fiction Prize. Now she gets to spend her summer evenings in a college fiction seminar at the nearby university, where dreamy college boys abound and Father Mark acts as her personal mentor.
But when Father Mark's enthusiasm for Olivia's writing develops into something more, Olivia quickly finds her emotions shifting from wonder to confusion to despair. And as her wide-eyed innocence deteroriates, Olivia can't help but ask - exactly what game is Father Mark playing, and how on earth can she get out of it?
This remarkable second novel by the author of The Possibilities of Sainthood, about overcoming the isolation that stems from victimization, is powerful, luminous, and impossible to put down. (Taken from inside flap)
Wow, this book was so good! I could not put it down; I had to keep reading so I could find out what happened. What I liked about This Gorgeous Game is the originality of the story. We see in the news all the time Catholic priests molesting children, which is a tragedy, but it rarely occurs in books. I think the issue of abuse (mental, emotional, and physical) is a topic some authors are afraid to cover. This story is a little different, and though it's not as violent as the things in the news, you still feel emotionally and mentally traumatized right along with Olivia. I loved how the author was able to write Olivia and her emotions so well.
Speaking of Olivia, I liked her character a lot. I was afraid she would be passive and not take control of the situation, but I was able to sympathize with her and understood why she was hesitant to accuse Father Mark of anything. If I was her, I probably would have told someone right away, but I liked that I could understand her motives, even if I didn't completely agree with them. And Father Mark: man, he was creepy. Once again, he was another character written extremely well.
All in all, I think Donna Freitas took a subject that is rarely written about and breathed new life into it. Her writing was simple, beautiful and just felt true, like she was revealing secrets of the world. Olivia could have been a real person with real feelings. This Gorgeous Game explores an interesting topic but is also a page-turner. Read it if you get a chance!
9 out of 10.
Release Date: May 25, 2010
FTC: This book was provided to me through the Henry Holt InGroup.