Jeri M. reviewed Valkyries: Some Through the Fire (Valkyries, Turning to Christ, a Young Woman Learns the Reali) on
Helpful Score: 1
Peopled with vivid characters, VALKYRIES (both volumes) does take for granted that Roman Catholicism has gone astray from what one character calls "the simplicity of the Gospel." Having said that, the narrative's first Valkyry figure is a nun, Sister James Ann, who suffers chronic pain with perseverance and cheerfulness, while acting as a spiritual guide to the young and troubled Tracey.
VALKYRIES is mostly about Tracey's long journey of faith, complicated and enlivened by her exile to a harsh Catholic boarding school in remote New England. But there are no stereotypes in the book.
I'm going to dispute another reviewer's claims that the book portrays all Catholics as either mean or not very bright. Starting in Tracey's junior year, she comes to regard Sister St. Gerard as brilliant, and Tracey stops arguing with her. In her senior year, the book details that Tracey specifically recognizes that Sister St Gerard's knowledge of philosophy and Christian world view will pilot Tracey safely through the dangers of atheism and moral relativism. Tracey repeatedly castigates herself for having been disrespectful to the sisters.
There is a sense in which VALKYRIES is one-sided, but it offers a critique of a church, and not individuals, that has been offered with considerable merit by others as well.
I found this to be a great story, but the author's obvious contempt for the Catholic faith comes thru loud and clear. Tracy, a troubled young girl from an even more troubled home, is forced into a Catholic boarding school. Having found faith in the baptist religion before coming to the school, Tracy rebels in every which way possible. Along the way she makes some friends and learns how to depend on others and let others depend on her.
While I am not Catholic myself, I did find the author's protrayal of the Catholic faith really offensive. All Catholics are portrayed as bad or as simply not that bright. I don't think it's a coincidence this book was published through Moody Publishing house, an exteremely conservative fundamentalist religious group.