Official Review: Dodging Satan

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kimmyschemy06
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Official Review: Dodging Satan

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 05 Feb 2018, 04:00

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dodging Satan" by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian sometimes awesome, but mostly creepy, childhood is a funny, entertaining and liberating book written by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick.

The book has fifteen chapters and is told in the first person perspective of Bridget Flagherty. Bridget lives with her Irish father and Italian mother in a three-family house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is apparently way too smart, too analytical and too liberal for the nuns who teach them in the Catholic school she and her friends go to. At her age, she carries plenty of family secrets as well as secrets of her own.

Raised as a good Catholic girl, Bridget collects holy cards and has not only her own glow-in-the-dark crucifix and two figurines of the Blessed Virgin Mary inside her room but also a guardian angel font that holds holy water to ward off Satan and his snakes that sneak up on her at night especially when her parents are fighting. As young as she is, she starts to question the apparent systemic bias against women from the Story of Creation to her mother’s and her mother’s sisters’ relationships with their husbands.

Though the book sounds funny and amusing, which it actually is, a serious reader would discern the profound underlying issues disguised as a young and innocent girl’s spontaneous narrative including excessive and somehow illogical reverence for religious relics, gender roles as dictated by religion, discrimination due to sexual orientation and sexual abuse as perpetrated by familiar individual on unsuspecting and oblivious younger person, among others. Most importantly, the book depicts the impressionable nature of children, no matter how smart they are, and the harmful effects of domestic altercations to the mind of younger members of the family.

The author creates an endearing, relatable and admirable character in Bridget. Though she is innocent and impressionable, she is also smart, open-minded, observant and forthright. Her manner of speaking reminds me so much of Anne Shirley, the beloved character of L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel Anne of Green Gables.

Moreover, I like the other issues raised in the book such as women’s liberation and the transitory nature of life. My favorite part of the book is the symbolic interpretation of the ‘apple’ or the forbidden fruit in the Story of Creation. The explanation reminds me of Robert Langdon, the fictional religious iconology and symbology professor in Dan Brown’s book series.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the book a lot. However, some parts which some readers take as funny may be taken as offensive and even blasphemous by others, particularly Catholic readers. They may take the book as attack on their faith and beliefs which may affect the overall readership of the book. Moreover, I noticed some typo errors within the entire book which are thankfully very few.

I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is funny, amusing, entertaining and liberating. I recommend it to readers who appreciate satirical books particularly religious satire. Though this is a coming-of-age novel, I recommend it to adults especially married women.

******
Editor's Note: The very few typos mentioned by the reviewer have also been corrected in the live version available for sale. The review copy was an advanced draft copy of the book.
******
Dodging Satan
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Post by Lest92 » 13 Feb 2018, 15:58

I don't know why, but the premise of this book appeals to me and you convinced me to check it out. Thanks for the review:)

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Post by Kalin Adi » 13 Feb 2018, 18:20

On one hand, holy water to repel Satan and his snakes? It sounds hilarious. I like when the characters are straightforward and if this one is like Anne Shirley, I'm sure I'll love her. On the other hand, the book seems to explore on very sensitive topics which turn me off. I have mixed feelings about this book. Thanks for the review!

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 13 Feb 2018, 22:18

Lest92 wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 15:58
I don't know why, but the premise of this book appeals to me and you convinced me to check it out. Thanks for the review:)
You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 13 Feb 2018, 22:19

Kalin Adi wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 18:20
On one hand, holy water to repel Satan and his snakes? It sounds hilarious. I like when the characters are straightforward and if this one is like Anne Shirley, I'm sure I'll love her. On the other hand, the book seems to explore on very sensitive topics which turn me off. I have mixed feelings about this book. Thanks for the review!
You're welcome. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the book.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Feb 2018, 08:19

Interesting. I'm not sure this is something I'd enjoy, but I love your review. A glow in the dark crucifix? I didn't even know they had such things. I'm glad that this is humorous but yet covers important topics. Still, I'm not sure if I would find it funny or insulting. Thanks for the information, though! Glad you enjoyed it.
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 14 Feb 2018, 10:28

kandscreeley wrote:
14 Feb 2018, 08:19
Interesting. I'm not sure this is something I'd enjoy, but I love your review. A glow in the dark crucifix? I didn't even know they had such things. I'm glad that this is humorous but yet covers important topics. Still, I'm not sure if I would find it funny or insulting. Thanks for the information, though! Glad you enjoyed it.
Yes, I did enjoy it immensely :)

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Post by MsTri » 14 Feb 2018, 15:08

Wow! This sounds like a very intriguing story that goes way more in-depth than the title alone would lead you to believe. I am very interested in reading her takes on all of these religious "traditions/rituals". Thanks for the introduction!

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Feb 2018, 18:14

The cover already drew me in before I started reading the review. I like that the author tackles such pertinent issues in a humorous way.
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 15 Feb 2018, 00:14

MsTri wrote:
14 Feb 2018, 15:08
Wow! This sounds like a very intriguing story that goes way more in-depth than the title alone would lead you to believe. I am very interested in reading her takes on all of these religious "traditions/rituals". Thanks for the introduction!
You're welcome. It's a great enjoyable book.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 15 Feb 2018, 00:28

Mercy Bolo wrote:
14 Feb 2018, 18:14
The cover already drew me in before I started reading the review. I like that the author tackles such pertinent issues in a humorous way.
Yes, she does and it makes the book fun to read.

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Post by cristinaro » 15 Feb 2018, 05:37

For me the title and cover page were not particularly attractive, but your review changed things and made me want to have a closer look. It sounds like a good novel for teenagers. Why would you recommend it to married women in particular? :)
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 15 Feb 2018, 09:09

cristinaro wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 05:37
For me the title and cover page were not particularly attractive, but your review changed things and made me want to have a closer look. It sounds like a good novel for teenagers. Why would you recommend it to married women in particular? :)
I recommend it to married women in particular that they may evaluate their own situations. If they should be thankful that they are more fortunate than the characters in the story or if they are less fortunate and must do something about it.

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Post by cristinaro » 15 Feb 2018, 09:15

kimmyschemy06 wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 09:09
cristinaro wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 05:37
For me the title and cover page were not particularly attractive, but your review changed things and made me want to have a closer look. It sounds like a good novel for teenagers. Why would you recommend it to married women in particular? :)
I recommend it to married women in particular that they may evaluate their own situations. If they should be thankful that they are more fortunate than the characters in the story or if they are less fortunate and must do something about it.
OK, thank you. I'll check it out then to see if I am more or less fortunate than the characters. :)
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Post by Libs_Books » 20 Apr 2018, 15:16

cristinaro wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 05:37
For me the title and cover page were not particularly attractive, but your review changed things and made me want to have a closer look.
Yes, I agree absolutely with that comment - great review!

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