The novel's strength lies in the development and psychology of its characters. Set in the fictional town of Stoneridge, Forgiving Judas is narrated in first person by eighteen year old Neal McLean. The story takes place over three days-several months after the death of his best friend, Brandt Stradleiter. Although the death has been ruled accidental, Neal is convinced that the single vehicle crash was suicide. Isolating himself from family, friends, and church; Neal embarks on a journey of penance and self-examination, as he attempts to deal not only with the loss of a friend, but also feelings of guilt and betrayal.
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