Jocelyn has two boys in her life. And a priest.

Gabe has shared fourteen years of growing up next door. He’s a “golden boy, an all-star”. Yet now, in the spring of 1975, he’s missing, disappeared on the brink of senior year at Weaver High. The whole town is set to go searching for him.

Benny has only been in New Hampshire since January, yet for Joss, he’s the answer to a long held prayer to be someone in somebody’s eyes. She loves them both.Father Warren – hair turning white and “kind of cool in his black clothes” – is a link between the three of them. Or a wedge. Or a threat. For Joss, the priest holds power over her sense of herself; for Benny, power over his soul; for Gabe, so mysterious and alluring, he holds the power of destiny.

In a story shot with suspense, these four characters, and the lives of others they’ve touched in their small town, intermingle with unforgettable force.


  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2006
  • Chicago Public Library's Best Children's Book, 2006
  • Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Book 2005
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age 2005


Jacobson traces complex issues with a gentle hand, demonstrating respect and empathy for her three adolescent characters. The discovery that Father Warren is sexually abusing Gabe is not played for dramatic punch but as a means for personal growth. Jocelyn’s maturity and strength are believably earned; her voice is honest and compelling”
— Horn Book, starred review

It’s no small achievement to make a story set 30 years ago feel immediate, nor is it easy to take a ripped-from-the-headlines topic and deliver it without sensationalism. In a triumphant ending, Joss comes to some important realizations and makes a bold decision to take action-a move that puts this girl with the “stained soul” squarely on the side of the angels. The enticing cover art will draw in teens; the story will hook them.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

Jacobson’s admirable first work for young adults is one which controversial topics are delicately handled. The final message is one of hope and salvation after a shocking secret vindicates Joss. Provocative – and timely”
— Kirkus, starred review