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The International Writers Magazine: Young Adult Fiction

Charity’s Child by Rosalie Warren
Circaidy Gregory Press
ISBN: 978-1-906451-07-3

Sam North review

Any young girl who has ever had a crush on another girl with all the pain and uncertainty that it brings with it would be fascinated to read Charity’s Child.

The setting is a small Christian Fellowship group and although this may narrow the books appeal, the situation of Joanne, a young girl who falls for a new arrival in her workshop group, the vivacious, attractive ‘spiritually possessed’ Charity is very intense. Charity also seems to have the key to talking to God directly.

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Joanne wants Charity to love her and share her intense and growing sexual feelings. So incidentally does Alan, the assistant pastor and father of at least two kids.

Charity completely dominates Joanne’s thoughts, but brings a wildness and recklessness to the Fellowship as well and unsettles everyone, especially Tom the pastor who begins to lose control of the group.
The relationship between Joanne and Charity deepens, despite opposition for Joanne’s mother (but the support from her Aunt who may be gay).

Joanne’s secret is Charity and her love for her, but Charity has nightmares, the nighttime terror that possesses her and scares her so much. She confides in Joanne, who is also scared all the time that Charity will go off with Alan or another, she is so insecure.

But Joanne’s world collapses when Charity tells her she is pregnant – by God no less!

Charity disappears and soon everyone knows she is pregnant. Joanne’s mother is glad she is gone and doesn’t see that Joanne is devastated.

Letters arrive from France from where her father has taken Charity. She is to take the child to term and is now living near her estranged mother, an alcoholic.

Then the letters suddenly stop and Joanne is mortified. Meanwhile suspicions locally point to Alan – after all someone human must have got the underage girl pregnant and he was flirting with her in front of his wife Louise.
Marriages implode, lives are wrecked, Charity’s impact has been extraordinary.
Then one day Charity appears with a baby in tow. But she is actingly strangely, seems strangely hostile to Joanne and when the police arrive all discover the baby, Rosie isn’t hers, she snatched it from outside a store.

Charity ends up in an asylum, Joanne begins to cut herself, and it all turns horridly ugly. Just what the hell happened to Charity?

Rosalie Warren writes with authority and it all smacks of a being true story that has seared real lives.
This is a disturbing, powerful tale written with confidence and would be valuable to read for any teenage girl concerned about her ‘feelings’. This is a book that should be more widely available, but with a better cover.

© SN Nov 2008

Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic awakening'

Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read' - Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'
Order now

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