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  Young Adult Review   


The Vicar of Church Hill
By Jody Rawley
Capital Media Enterprise, 2002
Trade paper, 88 pages
ISBN:  0972135006

The Vicar of Church Hill is a youthful collection of short stories by Jody Rawley.  The author has packed the slim volume with seven interconnected stories.  The book’s website states that the stories were “adapted from a television series script.”  Every story consists of chapters, some as slight as three paragraphs. 

Rawley ensures his readers will follow the stories’ flow, noting the time in one scene and moving into another.  Characters abound through the stories, some attempting to solve the mysterious.  Rawley depicts a wide range of characters:  a Vicar riding a horse named Justice, university professors, the police force (assisted by NASA), and a gardener who considers himself an “internist”; the reader definitely can also include Richmond as a primary character.  The reader senses Rawley’s own love of history and Richmond through his characters, such as Joe Madison, a local history columnist.  Madison and another character, for example, walk past a “plaque explaining how the city of Richmond, Virginia was named because this view of the James River reminded Williams Byrd of a similar view of the Thames River in Richmond, England.”  Each chapter seems like a historic tour of the city.         

This young adult book can be read in its entirety, although each short story can stand on its own.  And, according to book’s website, a second volume is already in the works.


Elizabeth King Humphrey
Southern Scribe Reviews

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