Item description for St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb by Valerie Hurley...
Making a second attempt at her senior year in high school, Raine Rassaby is now enrolled in St. Ursula's Academy for Girls, where she has been made the special charge of guidance counselor Al Klepatar. But Raine, more concerned about the world's problems than going to college, spends her time rescuing wounded birds, befriending street people, and organizing protest groups such as St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb. And so Al finds himself balancing Raine on the one hand and his personal life on the other: he suspects his wife is in love with another man.
It is no surprise that Raine tries to charge her way into Al's life, but it is surprising that he lets her in. Drawing on each other's dreams and fears, these two lost souls form an unlikely friendship -- one that will teach them things they never knew about themselves, the people they love, and the world around them.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.24" Width: 5.52" Height: 1" Weight: 0.81 lbs.
Release Date Nov 21, 2003
ISBN 1931561559 ISBN13 9781931561556
Availability 0 units.
More About Valerie Hurley
Valerie Hurley won the "Indiana Review" Fiction prize, and has published stories in "The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review," and "New Letters," among others. Two of her essays have appeared in "The Best American Essays" anthologies.
Valerie Hurley currently resides in the state of Vermont. Valerie Hurley was born in 1943.
Reviews - What do customers think about St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb?
The one book where the cover endorsements are right (!) Dec 15, 2006
I first picked up St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb while working in the lovely agony that is Borders Books & Music.
Seeing and selling books on a daily basis (especially when you already love them) is a wonderful thing, but it also lends you a certain amount of discernment, and even distaste for what some might call "The Formula" for hitting the jackpot with a Bestseller.
This book was on the New Arrival table, and the cover attracted me; I am a self-professed quality product junkie- I can spot one from miles away, and this book, while not along the same lines as the paperback version of, say, Eragon, is beautiful...unique. The compact size and delicate inner font make it feel like a specially-made gift for someone perceptive enough to see it and recognize it as something wonderful.
Raine Rassaby is not your typical high school student. In fact, one struggles to even place her in the same plane as schooling- she has been bred a free spirit who has decided that her job in life is to rid the world of nuclear weapons and educate those who are not nearly scared enough of being roasted inside their own skin.
Taking her second whack at senior year, she feels admiration, separation, loneliness, grief, and enlightenment for the people around her. She also feels a strangeness which is "in the world but not of the world."
Meeting Al Klepatar, Raine's guidance counselor, you don't quite know if he is a character that shines enough for the time he's allotted, but you quickly find out that Al, like every well-written character in this book, is so brilliant because he truly is a real man. These characters are believable, real, true in how they react to one another.
Al and Raine form their own little humorous unit, however opposite they may be, and their relationship becomes one of the central dialogues in the novel, regardless of whether they're actually speaking to one another. You really get the sense that these two are tied together for a three-legged contest and they're just crashing along as best they can.
The very essence of this book feels to be that there are these two people, caught in the whiplash that is life. Good stuff happens, bad stuff happens- things they cannot control, and decisions that might have been made differently. They are polar opposites, but they are fighting the same unseen enemy.
This book has so much heart. Valerie Hurley is an excellent writer and I look forward to anything else that she puts out there, especially if it is anything like this. No wonder it took her so many years to pen- it's a beautiful collection of all those little moments that graduate into how you see life. The whole novel hums with a steady heartbeat.
If you find yourself gravitating towards books that may be well-written, but immersed in the intense eye of the public or bestseller lists, then this book is not for you.
But if you find yourself looking for that book with the edge, the quietly satisfying novel whose small triumphs and delightfully simple writing are there to be picked up like wildflowers, then this book is for you.
A Delightful Surprise May 11, 2006
This is a delightful, beautifully written book. Why are there no other books in print by this author? Valerie Hurley has created a wonderful soul in Raine Rassaby - the product of a VERY mixed environment and history including a concert violinist mother and a shamanistic housekeeper from Greenland. Some of the best elements are when Raine speaks directly in conversation or through her diary. She expresses herself in parable - there is a hint of magic realism. All of this is grounded in every day stresses, politics and life. I have not enjoyed a character so much since J. D. Salinger's Glass family.
Who developed the Atomic Bomb? Jul 15, 2004
This debut novel is about a young impressionable girl who lives in a picture perfect world. She is a star gazer like her dad. Blue jays abound in her yard there on W. 88th St.; I have found four here in Krutch Park who pose for me to take their photos after I have fed them, of course.
This 18-yr-old rescues wounded birds (good for her), develops an interest in nurclear missile silos, and organizes her own group of girls against the atomic bomb at St. Ursula's School. She seemed to be obsessed with Stalin and Hitler, plus the Nurenberg trials. She is sent to discuss her concerns with the guidance counselor and they fall in love.
So, what else is new? I married my college lit teacher. But this little book brings things to today's world, how the privileged don't have enough to do with all their wealth and must find 'causes' to satisfy their yearnings.
She won an award in 1999 for her fiction in Indiana and has had some of her writings published in various literary magazines. I feel we have a new talent here and will look forward to her next endeavor.
Inside the teenage mind! Apr 13, 2004
ST. URSULA'S GIRLS AGAINST THE ATOMIC BOMB is set at an exhausting pace, about a maiden on the verge, who thinks Big Thoughts in a small world, who can't see the point of trigonometry when global destruction is at hand, & who might well have an undiagnosed case of ADD. She certainly is in the eye of the hormone cyclone!
She also has one of the severest cases of Social Conscience in Manhattan. This, naturally, propels everyone in Raine's life into both amusing adventures & serious life-changing decisions.
Although some of the connections this young woman makes (she is 18 already) raises red flags of inappropriateness, & her liaison with a young man is skipped over with mind-boggling simplicity, Raine's out of control life is a wonder to behold until...
Rebeccasreads recommends ST. URSULA'S GIRLS AGAINST THE ATOMIC BOMB for older teenagers as well as adults because it's a lively, tell-it-like-it-is story which may help a lot of teens make some sense of what they see about them, & the grown-up world into which they are heading.