22 March, 2011

Review: The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Title: The Virgin of Small Plains
Author: Nancy Pickard
Published: 2006
Length:  335 pages
Genre:  Mystery 
Where Found: Borrowed from my local library

The Virgin of Small Plains

Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his father’s pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him. The mysterious dead girl–the “Virgin of Small Plains”–inspires local reverence. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave; some even believe that her spirit can cure deadly illnesses. Slowly, word of the legend spreads.

But what really happened in that snow-covered field? Why did young Mitch Newquist disappear the day after the Virgin’s body was found, leaving behind his distraught girlfriend, Abby Reynolds? Why do the town’s three most powerful men–Dr. Quentin Reynolds, former sheriff Nathan Shellenberger, and Judge, Tom Newquist–all seem to be hiding the details of that night? 

On a bitterly cold, snowy night in January 1987, a sequence of events unfold that will forever change the lives of a whole town. A young girl is found dead and naked, with no one willing to identify her. The town, horrified that no one knows who she is, all pitch in to give her a proper burial and headstone. Her death remains unsolved for 17 years, bringing a mystery upon the town. Known as The Virgin in the years that follow people believe she can bring miracles to them from beyond the grave. 

This was my first time reading Nancy Pickard and I was pleasantly surprised. I adored her characters and she kept me  turning the pages to find out what had happened all those years ago. Her writing was lovely and she painted a gorgeous picture of Kansas for the reader. 

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