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Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,292 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In this humorous coming-of-age story, Bridget Flagherty, a student at St. Michael’s Catholic school outside Boston in the 60s and 70s, takes refuge in her wacky misunderstandings of Bible Stories and Catholic beliefs to avoid the problems of her Irish/Italian family life. Her musings on sadistic nuns, domestic violence, emerging sexuality, and God the Father’s romantic ...more
Kindle Edition, 191 pages
Published November 18th 2015 by Sand Hill Review Press
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  1,292 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The story follows the growing up of a young catholic girl – born of an Italian mother to an Irish father, she seems to struggle with the worst aspects of both cultures. The book is very well-written and draws you into Bridget’s world, which is utterly dominated by Catholicism. If she works hard and gains good results at school, she is chided for the sin of pride; if she underachieves she is wasting her God-given talents! As a teacher, I was horrified by the constant undermining that she suffered ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Don’t judge this book by its cover. This delightfully quick read reminds us all how literal children can be and how little they know when to ask the right questions. Young Bridget is baffled that all her religious interpretations are lost on the very adults teaching her. Otherwise they would understand how much she is standing firm on the concepts all the bible stories have clarified for her. But rather than being praised for her self-perceived astuteness, she is often mocked, admonished or ...more
Cathy Pelham
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imaginative, quirky and joyful. Definitely a good read.

Kathleen McCormick's DODGING SATAN took me by surprise. Bridget Flaherty lives in a war zone, with vying Irish and Italian takes on faith and parenting. Bridget's response is to interpret life's mysteries in terms of her own skewed perspectives. Hilarious and heartbreaking — this book celebrates a unique girl growing into her strengths.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for something a little different to read, Dodging Satan by Kathleen McCormick is a great choice. While I didn't have the experience of attending a Catholic school, I could easily relate to this book, having been raised as a Catholic. I absolutely loved Bridget's character. She is completely relatable, and is trying to discover herself. Meshed between the two cultures of Irish and Italian, this is a fun read. Bridget just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere in her crazy family or ...more
Biljana Ognenova
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If we could open up a contest about the world’s most Catholic family, Bridget’s Italian-Irish concoction would definitely top up the rating. The clever girl is raised by the tight glove of religion from both sides of the large family, grows up to become the perfect Catholic and evade Satan’s calling who takes various shapes in her life as a child and young teenager: imaginary snakes coming out of the closet at night, her flirty and cheeky friend Lucy, and the non-avoidable puberty sex drive.

Rachel Horon
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and sad, but a great book to read

There is someone hilarious and sad wrapped up in the one story of Dodging Satan. There is the hilarity of Bridget's innocent perspective of her faith in the points of view of her Irish and Italian family. How she believes God is glowing his spirit through her crucifix as well as her father's slippers. Or her indulgence prayer math she does to stay out of trouble during sermons. There is also her fear of Satan and her night terrors and her parents'
Connie Anderson
This is a laugh out loud book of absolute brilliance. From her getting her first (glow in the dark) crucifix to her dad's glow in the dark slippers, she gets a little perturbed at God at first. The book continues on and on. I don't want to be the one to give it all away.

My first most favorite antidote was when she and her mom went into this little room to get fresh (not germy) holy water out of a 3-gallon coffee holder. When the water wouldn't come out, her mom tears off the lid and needs a
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laugh-out-loud, and challenging the Irish Catholic system in both a theological and an entirely comedic way. This mash-up of style works particularly well, and I found it's tone to be refreshing. It's told from a child's perspective, Bridget, who is finding ways to deal with her strict upbringing. Echoing the socio-politics of the time, the subject of Catholicism and religion in the 60's and 70's, McCormick brings a gritty realism to her story, as she does a great job at animating recollections ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is, hands down, one of the most unique stories I've read, and trust me, I've read quite a lot of them. Even more so, it served as a good "introduction" to certain hardcore Catholic beliefs and traditions for me.

Bridget is a girl who is forced to live a very strict life and follow some (harsh) rules, but at the same time, she cannot resist Satan's calling forever. The book is centered around this plot, and that's more than enough for us, readers, to witness lots of humorous moments, but
Phil Bolos
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dodging Satan by Kathleen McCormick is a unique coming of age story about a girl who has to deal with an Irish side and an Italian side of her family. The two sides clash on a regular basis over any number of topics, but are both so deeply religious that they can't help but having a happy middle ground. Kathleen deals with many different issues as a catholic school girl. Some are common for girls her age, such as maturity, a wild imagination that manifests itself in the form of re-tellings of ...more
Susan Morrison
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The voice relating the childhood and early adolescence of Bridget Flagherty chimes with humor and poignancy. Negotiating landmines like drunken family members, violent ethnic strife (Italian versus Irish), and the nuns' expectations at school, little Bridget remains implacable and ever humorous. Charming and perceptive, she sees beyond the interfamilial drama that both amuses and terrifies her. Her innocent thoughts and questions about Catholicism dive deep at the heart of this religion that ...more
Bill Mazzella
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it

In her newly published novel, “Dodging Satan”, Kathleen Zamboni McCormick portrays her childhood growing up in the 60’s under an Italian mother and Irish father in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was the time when norms and rules were falling rapidly by the wayside. Yet McCormick talks about a Catholic world that seems more like the forties and fifties or earlier. Hers is a world of Satan harassment, holy water cures, saints curing, and bishops and priests scaring people and children to death.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best way I can describe Dodging Satan without go9ng into chapter and verse is as humorous and compelling. There’s an incredibly sharp and intuitive mind behind the pen that delivers a read that’s above all original whilst the theme is cleverly nuanced to ensure the widest possible appeal. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had no hesitation in giving it 5 stars.
Elise Miller
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel proves that a Jewish girl can - indeed - find a book about a Catholic girl to be both hilarious and poignant. For me, Kathleen Zamboni Mccormick's novel, Dodging Satan, provided a surprising introduction to traditional Catholic family dynamics, values and beliefs. Even if I were not interested in the culture, I would still relate closely to the main character. McCormick did a masterful job of creating an authentic child’s voice, which managed to mature from six to sixteen and still be ...more
James Hanna
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How does Bridget Flagherty, a budding feminist, reconcile herself to the Marine Corps of religion? An ultra-macho creed in which God the F. reigns supreme and women are relegated to second class citizenry from birth? Perhaps with a little help from the Virgin Mary, whom Bridget believes is the most misunderstood woman in the Bible. Nietzsche's quote, "I can't believe in a God who wants to be worshiped all the time," resonates in this coming-of-age novel by Kathleen McCormick. Five stars.

Pat Eroh
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is nothing more aggravating than the Catholic religion. I apologize to Catholics. Just my opinion. But how horrible that children are taught to be like the Virgin Mary (girls anyway and it should be "to be like Jesus") but they would have been disowned if any girls actually found themselves to be like the Virgin Mary. Hypocrite?

Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read by my partner, this was a very entertaining read. From the first anecdote about Bridget to the end of the book - it was a gas. This book is cleverly written, finding the humor in the often dry and stale topic of religion. Rather than seeming sacrilegious, McCormick's analyzation of the Catholic faith is deeply personal and emotional. Her novel explores the influence the Catholic faith has on the adolescent Bridget during a time of life where her sexuality is emerging and conflicts arise ...more
Nichole Streeter
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dodging Satan: by Kathleen McCormick, is a somewhat quirky tale of a young woman's childhood. The writers words are engaging, allowing you to be transported back to the formative years of her life. From the nuns that did not appreciate her uncles war stories, to her mothers stories of surviving scarlet fever. Imaging entering church, and pretending to make the sign of the cross with dry fingers, and staying awake at night because you imagine serpents of satan snaking their way out from under the ...more
Luis Humberto Molinar Márquez
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randr
[English review + Reseña en español]

Dodging Satan: My Irish / Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood, by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick. Published by Sand Hill Review Press. 2015. 191 pages. Genre: Humorous fiction / Autobiographical fiction / Spirituality

Bridgette (Bridgie) is a naive 7-year-old girl of Italian-Irish descent, born into a very Catholic American family (and also very chaotic, words that sometimes seemed to be directly related). She is excited because she will soon
Julie Barrett
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dodging Satan by Kathleen McCormick
Starts out with praise for the book, table of contents and then the story begins.
Story of a girl growing up Catholic and she's got roots from Italy and Ireland. I remember the cards she spoke of as I also collected them when given to me from the nuns that were teaching us from K through grade 7.
The girl grows up thinking Satan is under her bed and she gets her mom to sprinkle things around to scare them off.
She really has a philosophic opinions about the virgin
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written by author Kathleen McCormick, this book is a fascinating look at Catholicism, religion, and what happens when things are taken too far. The book plays with good and evil in a truly unique and interesting way as the main character of the book struggles with how to take in all the information she is being given. This book also delves into brainwashing, domestic violence, emerging sexuality, familial divide, culture, and the supernatural. I thought that this story did a great job of ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dodging Satan is a refreshing and delightful perspective of a young catholic girl growing up with only enough knowledge about God that she haunts herself. Her overactive imagination distresses her parents when they just can’t quite understand her reasoning.
Kathleen McCormick is such an enchanting storyteller, reading this book makes you want to hear her tell the stories in person just to see her facial expressions. I loved reading about her family ties, even the ones that are bizarre. I have to
Green Pastures
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say that this could be one of the funniest books I have ever read! Kathleen Zamoboni McCormick has a real gift for writing comedy, and 'Dodging Satan' is going to have Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, and even atheists like me, rolling on the floor laughing.
I wasn't brought up in a religious household, but I can imagine many women that were will really relate to the hilarious musings of young Bridget Flagherty. As part of an Irish/Italian Catholic family that has a number of
Banana Twins
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dodging Satan- what a title! Very intriguing to me even though I am not a very religious person and I have never read Christian literature. I got Kathleen McCormick’s novel as a gift and I must admit she does a great job! The author tells the story from child’s a perspective, which was unusual to me as normally the books I read are from the perspective of adults.

The book is thought-provoking, humorous, and at times tender as well. Finally a fresh, original take on religion, and about time too.
Abstract Voice
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the title fool you, 'Dodging Satan' is seriously funny, Catholicism has never been as hilarious as when seen through the eyes of teenager Bridget, experiencing her formative years in a home full of strict Irish/Italian Catholics.

Trying to figure out your own path when growing up is hard enough without being preached to on a daily basis by a family that doesn't exactly hold the moral high ground. As a result a stressed out Bridget starts experiencing nightmares she thinks have been sent
Monica Reents
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bridget, in Dodging Satan, maintains a playful personality even though the main topic is quite serious – her strict Catholic upbringing.
I did not grow up having religion in my life, but we do have beliefs in God and spirituality, so it is interesting to me to read about the lives of others who had childhoods/families who were so tightly bound to their religion. Her parents are strict Catholics and try to instill these same beliefs in their daughter as she begins questioning certain Bible
Red Apple
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found Dodging Satan by Kathleen to be an excellent read. It had me laughing out loud for a good part of the novel, The greatest thing about the way this book has been written is that Kathleen has written it from a child’s point of view. Being raised in a catholic household myself I could easily relate throughout. This book brings humour and sadness but overall is a great read. Dodging Satan will take you to another world and learn you about different religions and cultures, you wont be able to ...more
Jessica LeVault
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dodging Satan is an excellently written story about a girl trying to figure out her religion and her families values as she grows up. Kathleen McCormick does a great job of describing her feelings and the things she saw. This story has a great flow and is very descriptive so that you can feel what everyone feels that is in the room with Kathleen. You learn how she got to where she is today and who supported her and who turned away from her. Dodging Satan is a great book that will transport you ...more
Julius Blitzy
What an incredible book, such approach in certain topics would make some

people certainly mad or uncomfortable, but it actually surprises me how unique

this book is.

Bridget and her story at first I thought it was a little predictable, but reading

carefully it really have an amazing message, and I like how the author handles

all the matters of religion, family issues and even the bible with such originality

and filled with so much emotions. I think we can all relate when someone ask us

is there is a
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Captivating and entertaining, Dodging Satan is a window into Catholic life in the 1950s and 1960s. I loved that it was set in Boston. A fun read!
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