Very seldom does a book touch the reader to the extent as that of Holy Communion. Author Mykola Dementiuk takes his audience into the world of a seven-year-old boy’s first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, and we get to spend the exciting four days of this event with him as we wend our way through a story that is as gripping as it is original. During the time spent preparing for his first communion, the boy in question has to overcome obstacles such as the alcoholism of his father, a nasty accident that befalls his mother, downright mean nuns are in the mix, as are a couple of pedophiles, and babysitters from hell! Throughout all the boy finds his way to cope as he emerges triumphant from these trials not only to receive his communion but also to rise above the problems life has thrown his way. Dementiuk has created a true little masterpiece that is a slice of one boy’s life in the confines of Holy Communion, injected it with his own observations of the world, without becoming preachy or self serving in the process. Recommended reading.
Grade: A+

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Holy Communion by Mykola Dementiuk
Review by Melissa Bradley

What an extraordinary story! I was so involved with the little boy that at times it was very hard to read, but I couldn’t put it down. His point of view was very poignant and had me in tears more than a few times. Mykola Dementiuk really captured the time, too. Historical without lots of clumsy references, just pure description and dialogue to deftly paint a portrait. Mick has a wonderful voice that is unafraid to get into the gritty and the seedy. He knows how to push the envelope and force readers to look at things they don’t want to. I have never read anything quite like this before. In my mind’s eye, I felt like I was reading a graphic novel told in black and white where the nuns, all the adults, really, were shadowy monsters looming over the poor boy.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this. I love books that really make me think, that make me uncomfortable and push my sensibilities to the limit. Mykola is an artist with the written word to be sure. I look forward to reading more of his stuff in future so I’ll be keeping an eye out for his books.

Melissa Bradley

Times Queer by Mykola Dementiuk — 5 stars
Review by Jude Mason

Amazing look into the troubled life of a young boy. Mick’s writing seemed rough, but totally fit the book. His style and insightful delving into the underbelly of society took my breath and had me reading faster, wanting to find out more. A heartbreaking, wonderful book. Thank you, Mick for letting me read this one. Unforgettable!

June, 2010

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