Amber Belldene's Reviews > The Splinter

The Splinter by Remittance Girl
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Jun 13, 2012

it was amazing

The Splinter by Remittance Girl is an amazingly tender and profound novella about desire, pain, the religious life, and ecstasy -- both sexual and divine. It’s beautifully written, and RG treats her characters so lovingly that I can’t let them go. I haven’t read RG’s other, more erotic work, but I sure plan to. Of her stories, this one caught my attention because its themes are of great interest to me (as in, why the heck does a nice churchy girl like me like to read and write about sex?).

Dolores is a modern, eighteen year old young woman who feels close to God when she hurts herself, like a medieval nun. She believes she is called to become a nun, but her mother and her parish priest are concerned by her self-harming habits. To persuade her from the religious life, they send her to the scar-faced Brother Simon, who understands better than anyone what Dolores’s need for pain is about. Simon longs to help Dolores, but she rekindles his own addiction to pain.

This story is so well and sensitively written that it’s open to many interpretations, like a parable. My interpretation is that, in the end, Simon teaches Dolores a lesson he fails to learn himself. Or perhaps his demons are darker than we realize. But, even with a tight moment of tragedy in this story, Dolores finds her happily ever after. I would have loved this story without it, but that redemption makes it even sweeter. In the end, sexual and divine ecstasy aren’t so different.
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