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Our Lady of Infidelity
By Jackie Parker
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Jackie Parker's Our Lady of Infidelity is actually not a bad little book at all, despite some of the criticisms I'll be making before this write-up is over; a magical-realism tale set in the American Southwest, it's essentially a look at the ways the eclectic population of a small town (think Northern Exposure set in the desert) are affected when a young local girl suddenly claims one day that she can receive mystical visions from a window that was recently installed in the town's only car wash, which in reality is an excuse for the author (a full-time meditation teacher in real life) to do a sweeping and generalized look at faith and well-being in modern America. But man, be prepared; this is about as precious and academic as preciously academic novels even get, and you can almost smell the coffee that was being drank during the MFA workshops where the details of this NPR-boilerplate story got hammered out. It's still getting a fairly high score today, because ultimately it's quite good at what it's trying to accomplish; but much like books in more traditional genres like crime or science-fiction, even though this will deeply appeal to fans of the "delicate MFA" genre, it's bound to rub others in a really bad way, and you should keep all of this in mind before picking it up yourself.
Out of 10: 8.7, or 9.2 for fans of MFA novels