3 out of 4 stars
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The Crack in The Halo by Racer Lynch is an eye-opening book that investigates the disturbing truths that surround religious abuse. It chronicles the initial period in the lives of young teenage ladies as they join a convent with the hopes of dedicating their whole lives to God.
When Anne Ferry arrives at the Fairview Convent on her first day she cannot help noticing the lack of sheen and spirit in her new found home. A stone-faced lady opens the door and with the coldest of voices asks her, her mother and cousin Pat to get in. When the time comes for her mother to leave, Anne feels a void she has never felt before and worse is still to come. Behind these doors, Anne and her friends, specifically those from Northern Ireland will suffer humiliation, physical and emotional abuse, they will have their dignity and heritage stripped from them. Even in this state of desperation and the confinement, Anne forms a bond with three friends, namely, Mary, Nuala and Annie which will last a lifetime.
The Crack in The Halo is candidly told and contains a lot of raw emotions that helped me understand the pain of the postulants under their oppressor. Sister Dolores stops at nothing to humiliate the young ladies especially those from the North of Ireland. Her fury is utterly destructive and easily results in violence. One heart-breaking scene describes an encounter the main character had with the monstrous instructor. While serving in the sacristy, Sister Delores walks in with the sole aim of looking for something to blame on Anne. As usual, Anne holds her breath as her heart beats wildly inside of her. A speck of dust earns her a horrific strike in the head.
I like that the descriptions made by Racer Lynch are so vivid. The crisp cold that hugs the Fairview Covenant is so real while the solemnness and despondency that tags at the hearts of the innocent young ladies envelopes the whole book. Lynch describes the weather, the rare chances of color in the dull convent, the pinching chill in the winter months, the hushed murmurs and the sadness that comes with the lack of laughter. Even though there is little dialogue in the book, given the convent’s strict rules, the narration fills the spaces adequately.
The only problem I found with the book was its format. There are a few errors that could have easily been corrected with another round of editing. The words seem to be clustered together making reading difficult. The organization of the happening of events, however, was well executed. The theme of religious abuse is very well explored and presented. The author explains the latter effects that these acts of mistreatment had on the victims. The results are shocking. Lynch sheds light on a topic that is extremely crucial and that will resonate with readers interested in the subject matter. I rate The Crack in The Halo 3 out of 4 stars only because of the formatting issues it contains. Otherwise, it would have earned the full 4 stars.
The Crack In The Halo
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