Vivian Apple At The End Of The World
In my undergraduate years at Gordon College (a Christian college
in Massachusetts) a number of my classmates were avid fans of rapture
films. Those movies gave me nightmares. They were shown from the
perspective of the all seeing narrator and were quite explicit end
Katie Coyle's take on the subject is quite a different take.
It's written from the perspective of someone who has been left behind
in a terrifying new world. And the Church of America, the megasect in
control, is a really creepy blend of fundamentalist Christianity,
sexism, and patriotism. Jesus is proud to an American. America is
blessed over all other nations because of capitalism. Women who fall
outside of moral standards are to burn forever. God so loved the
world that He sent us...
Vivian Apple's parents had joined the Church of America the
Sunday after her sixteenth birthday. It had come as quite a
surprise. "...Their going after years of not going struck me as a
strange and personal thing, like the sex I'd only recently come to
understand they'd at one point had...". They had tried to convert
her. At the same time they had made careful preparations for if they
were swooped up and she wasn't ...("'Now this should last you for the
six months between the Rapture and the apocalypse,' my mother said,
stocking our cabinets with cans of soup and tuna, 'but the real
trouble will be keeping it out of the looters. And the
Vivian returns to an empty house after a Rapture's Eve party.
Her parents aren't there to scold her for her transgressions. They
don't answer their cell phones. There are two jagged holes in their
Many of the people who assumed they were among the saved are
still on Earth. They've been told that in six months they will have a
second chance. The path to salvation will be narrow and may be
clogged by sinners. Needless to say, life is far from safe for those
who live outside their belief system. Vivian's best friend, Harp's,
brother, Raj, is shot for being gay.
Staying put is not a great option. Even if the end times are
only months away Vivian, Harp, and Peter, a young man who may have
Church of America connections, set off on a quest for answers and
family members. What if those allegedly raptured are alive and hidden?
The only thing I disliked about the book was its very cliff-
hanging ending. I'm now caught up in the very worthy sequel, Vivian
Apple Needs A Miracle. It will be the subject of my next review.
On a personal note, October Orono Arts Cafe was amazing as always. We
had low attendence, but great camaraderie. People tried things they
weren't quite sure of, stepped out of their comfort zones, accepted
each others' offerings with great appreciation. I read five poems and
danced when Redman performed. Arts Cafe is like the classic
children's story, Stone Soup. When each of us offers up what she or
he has to share, we end up with a feast for mind, soul, and heart.
A great big shout out goes out to my Orono Arts Cafe family.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod