My job today is to convince you to read Agatha of Little Neon as our mid-winter Read With Us selection. Kym wrote about why you should read it here. Bonny wrote about why you should read it here. And, we all recognize that we’re fast on the heels of our last book, but this one is short and good and a perfect sort of follow up to Matrix.
Here’s the description of the book from GoodReads:
Agatha has lived every day of the last nine years with her sisters: they work together, laugh together, pray together. Their world is contained within the little house they share. The four of them are devoted to Mother Roberta and to their quiet, purposeful life.
But when the parish goes broke, the sisters are forced to move. They land in Woonsocket, a former mill town now dotted with wind turbines. They head up a halfway house, where they live alongside castoffs like the jawless Tim Gary and the headstrong Lawnmower Jill. Agatha is forced to venture out into the world alone, to teach math at a local all-girls high school, where for the first time in years she will have to reckon with what she sees and feels all on her own. Who will she be if she isn’t with her sisters? These women, the church, have been her home–or has she just been hiding?
Disarming, delightfully deadpan, and full of searching, Claire Luchette’s Agatha of Little Neon offers a view into the lives of women and the choices they make. It is a novel about female friendship and devotion, the roles made available to us, and how we become ourselves.
Agatha is definitely not a typical sister. And Little Neon is definitely not a convent. I’m going to capitalize on the alliteration in that 3rd paragraph and say that disarming and delightfully deadpan are terrific and accurate words to categorize this read. And all of that works together to make this the perfect . . . antidote . . . to Matrix. For all that Matrix was cloistered and ancient and obscure, Agatha is open and modern and real.
If you didn’t like Matrix, this book is for you. And if you loved Matrix, this book is still for you.
And I promise we won’t read a book about nuns again for a good, long time.