I’ve never been disappointed with a book or a story written by Mark Matthews. Body of Christ is no different. Once again, Matthews has written a story that deals with human frailties and emotions. In this case, we follow the story of two young characters, both have lost someone dear to them and are struggling to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with such a loss. Keagan watches his father commit suicide and is left with his religious mother. He is also dreading his forthcoming communion, something his father warned him against taking part in. Faith lives across the street. She too is in mourning after the loss of her mother. Faith is also menstruating and doesn’t really know what to do. Her father is a ghost to her and so what you have is two young, fragile people
In Body of Christ, we have two living, breathing characters with real-world problems and feelings. Mark’s writing is excellent throughout this novella, particularly in the way he handles young Faith’s fears and feelings surrounding her menstruation. I loved how things took a sinister and gruesome turn midway through the novella as Kegan slowly pieces together his Jesus. He becomes a sort of Frankenstein figure with Jesus as his monster. We also learn about what Faith has been doing with her used sanitary towels!
Body of Christ is superbly well paced and the final few pages are pure nightmare fuel. Mark Matthews is a superb character writer and one who consistently creates atmospheres filled with dread. I’ve seen first-hand what pressures overly religious parents put on their children. In their eyes the word of God is final and nothing else matters. It’s God’s way or the highway. And seriously, The Bible is scary stuff if you’ve never read it!
If you haven’t read Mark’s work before this is a great place to start. A darker coming-of-age tale with religious overtones you will not read.
4/5 communion wafers from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.