A hilarious coming-of-age novel about the pain of young love, family secrets, and sick ferrets
Fifteen-year-old Jacob feels almost on the inside: almost smart, almost funny, almost good-looking, almost worthy of falling in love. His sister is too busy dating guys in Whitesnake jackets to notice, and his best friend is occupied with his own painful pubescent crisis. Jacob’s mother has just started a curious (and rather un-Christian) holy war with the church across the street, while his father has secretly moved into the garage.
Everything changes when Jacob meets Mary. Jacob thinks Mary is the most beautiful girl in the world. If only Mary’s father wasn’t the minister at the enormous rival church. If only she wasn’t dating a youth pastor with pristine white teeth and impeccably trimmed hair. If only Jacob could work up the courage to tell Mary how he feels . . .
As the conflict between the churches escalates, a peeping Tom prowls the neighbourhood, a bearded lady terrorizes unsuspecting Dairy Queen customers, a beautiful young girl entices Jacob into a carnal romp in a car wash, and the church parishioners prepare their annual re-enactment of Operation Desert Storm.
For the Love of Mary is sidesplitting satire with a surprising amount of heart.
Christopher Meades’s novel The Last Hiccup won the 2013 Canadian Authors Association National Award for Fiction. His first novel was The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark, and his stories have been featured in dozens of journals including The Fiddlehead and The Dalhousie Review. He lives in Vancouver, where his two young daughters treat him like a trampoline. One day he hopes to escape his cubicle and live by the beach.
“With a style and wit reminiscent of William Kotzwinkle, Meades has fashioned an engagingly droll coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop of gentle (yet barbed) religious satire.” — Publishers Weekly
“For the Love of Mary, the new novel from Vancouver writer Christopher Meades, deftly captures the uncertainties and tensions of being a teenage boy to alternately hilarious and heartbreaking effect.” — Toronto Star
“With mischief and affection, author Christopher Meades spins an engaging and comic tale of a small town and its characters . . . For the Love of Mary is escapism with brains and a heart. It hooks the reader within the first page or two, and before you know it, you’ll have devoured the whole thing.” — Scene Magazine
“Christopher Meades’s For The Love of Mary is a laugh-out-loud story of small town rivalry standing in for much deeper longings. If Stephen Leacock wrote the screenplay for a Cameron Crowe film, we just might get For the Love of Mary, a book packed with scheming youth pastors, hysterical church ladies, Peeping Toms, and all the best makings of a small town dramedy. Witty, perfectly paced, and full of heart, it’s as bright as a bush party bonfire.” — Grace O’Connell, author of Magnified World
“Christopher Meades has a gift for storytelling. With humour and heart and humanity, For the Love of Mary pulls you in, and then pulls you through. I didn’t want it to end.” — Terry Fallis?, author of The Best Laid Plans and Poles Apart
“I really enjoyed For The Love of Mary. It was funny, light but not trivial, with the right amount of teenage angst.” — 52 Books or Bust blog
“You will be rooting so much for Jacob, he is an amazing lead character and Jacob’s mum made me laugh so much, she was hilarious . . . the author is just crazy good and I need to check out what else he has written as his style and writing is just really impressive. Definitely someone to look out for in the future too.” — Is This Real Life
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