SAINT NELLIE By Odal Madsen, a Review by Joan Adamak

Black Magic, religious fanaticism, hypocrisy, human viciousness

This book is one that some readers will not enjoy because of its content and much of the obscene language used.  It begins with this teenage white girl, June McGruder, who attempts to help her Black girlfriend, who was burned out of her home by Whites, her family killed, and she is suffering from burns.  June is continually abused by her father, Slugger, who constantly beats her severely, rapes her and now she is pregnant with his seed.  Slugger, hates the Black girl, Rosie, and his friend, Gabe, a man just like himself, drags Rose out and violently rapes her.  Then Slugger takes his turn at her.

Rosie has in her possession a book of Black Magic, owned by her mother who was dead.  June had been copying the incantations and rituals out of it although Rosie begged her not to, warning her that it could have dire results for her.

The story goes on to encompass ignorant religious superstition as exists in some areas of the southeastern U.S., a loud, obscene Baptist pastor who preaches racism, all sorts of sins at the top of his voice every Sunday, causing violence to occur in obedience to his screaming, although he personally doesn’t believe what he says, but the idea of sin keeps his pockets full and him in control of the flock.  Teenager, Mia Taylor, half White and half Hindu, and her mother Caroline Taylor, move to the town while Caroline is finalizing her deceased mother’s estate.  Then the witch becomes most active and the preacher commits some skullduggery that will enable him financially, but hurt the witch.  Throughout the story, there are scenes of vicious violence, demons, continuous obscene language and human injury and pain.

If the reader enjoys this type of genre, then the author does a good job of setting up the scenes and characters, including the choice language that would be existent under such circumstances.  It is for that reason I am giving the book four stars, but since many readers would throw such a book down rather than face it, I cannot give it five stars as a literary good works.


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