Leah Greenblatt
April 04, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Land of Decoration

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Grace McCleen
publisher
Henry Holt and Company
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Which of us, when we were small, didn’t fervently wish for — and frankly believe in — divine intervention? More than most children, 10-year-old Judith truly needs the help: When not attempting to escape a brutal classmate, she is trying and failing to earn the love of her remote, end-of-days fundamentalist father. Mostly, though, she presides over the titular fantasy world she has constructed bit by found-object bit in her shabby bedroom, a fanciful diorama in which she can (perhaps) manifest real miracles. Decoration remains agnostic about that, but it paints an affecting and often unsettling portrait of pure faith. B+

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