The Flynn girls, just two of a seemingly endless number of Flynn children, are naturally curious about where their little siblings come from. Well versed in the bizarre lives and gruesome deaths of their favorite saints, they have yet to crack the mysteries of the more earthly concerns of procreation and human relations. Blessed enlightenment comes, however, when the Virgin Mary appears and asks them to buy her suitable clothes for her earthly mission -- a campaign for birth control. Set against the backdrop of the impending Vatican II decisions that wreaked havoc on many Catholic lives and the sprawl of the more permissive 1960s, this crackling, smart, and thoughtful novel is sure to delight.
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The visitationUser Review - Book Verdict
Young Catherine Flynn imagines herself as the martyred Blessed Catherine of Chatterton, Flower of the Pacific; her sister, Theresa, believes menarche a punishment for lack of devotion. One day the Virgin Mary appears to the two children (who regularly play martyrs and suffering virgins) with a message urging the pope to change his mind regarding contraception. The girls' mother is appalled by their new crusade; she wants them to grow up "normal, like nurses" rather than martyrs: "This is New Zealand, not Italy. That sort of thing doesn't go on here." The Virgin's evolution into a leader of the women's rights movement is forced but rollickingly funny in parts; the novel is also a deeply serious look at the fraught journey to self-knowledge, teen sexual experimentation, and the spiritual lives of girls and women. New Zealand native Reidy is winner of the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. Recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with large literary or women's studies collections.--Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll., Lib., Bronxville, N.Y.
Review: The VisitationUser Review - Goodreads
It's 1966 and in the large, devoutly Catholic Flynn family, the two eldest girls, Theresa and Catherine, don't spend their time playing with dolls or playing house. Even an exciting round of cops and ...