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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
A Portal to Vibrancy by Laurette Folk is a coming of age novel. Jackie Fellini was brought up a staunch Catholic; she and her family were programmed by the church they believe in. Jackie wants nothing more than to please her family, achieving straight A’s at school, but she can’t help having sinister preoccupations. When Stephen moves in across the street, Jackie feels drawn to him in ways she probably shouldn’t. Stephen is an atheist, not the best match for a Catholic girl, but you can't help who you fall for. He pops up in Jackie’s life at odd moments, forcing her to start examining her life, her programming, and to find out who she is as a woman and an artist, not just the Catholic girl next door.
A Portal to Vibrancy by Laurette Folk is slightly more than your standard coming of age story. There is much depth to this and the style of writing makes you feel like you are living Jackie’s life rather than just reading about it. It is a deep story; there are some sexual situations, although nothing that anyone could find offensive, and it flows quite naturally. Laurette Folk is clearly at home as an artistic writer and that comes across in her wording, the style of the story and the detail that she goes into, including the character definitions. The development of Jackie and Stephen will have you holding your breath in places and gasping in surprise at others. This is a nice story, not overly complex and with just enough action to keep a reader interested. I did struggle to get started with it but once I was in, I was there all the way.