So, just finished this book and I have to say that I actually enjoyed it. I had read Little Children by this author a while back and hated it so much, but I put that aside to read this one for a bookclub.
There were so many issues going on at once in the book, and I just don't know where to begin. First of all, I *do* believe in abstinence HOWEVER, I don't believe that it should be taught in schools, that is something that a parent should discuss with their children...the schools should be giving the fact, not warped facts.
Second, I absolutely HATE how religion takes over everything and changes it. I believe that if there is something you do or don't do because of your religion, you shouldn't make everyone else change, just remove yourself from the situation and respect everyone else's rights to do as they please. The more I think about it, the more it irritates me - from religion in schools to boycotting stores for saying "happy holidays" because not everyone believes in Christmas. In general in society it's getting WAY out of hand, nobody knows how to use their rights without stomping all over the rights of someone else...when common sense dictates that perhaps instead of worry ing about YOURSELF, you should worry about the other person. Duh.
Wow, kinda got on a rant there...see, that's why this was such a great book to me...it really got me going, invested emotionally and I wanted to really PUNCH Pastor Dennis in the face for forcing his own religion on everyone else, and thriving on the attention brought on by the fights they picked.
I really felt the rage that Ruth felt when her life was turned upside down not once but TWICE by Pastor Dennis' group, but then could understand the struggle that Tim was going through as a member of that church. The other sideline characters I didn't really think were necessary to the plot (ie the gay friends of Ruths - they didn't add anything to the story other than they were her only friends, basically that was all - I'm not sure what their little sub-drama was all about, or how it fit into the story at all).
But anyway, overall...it's an excellent read. :)