Lost in The Ark

Young Adult - Coming of Age
285 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

VAL AGNEW grew up in New England where she spent a year living in an evangelical school with strong cultish tendencies. When she got the courage to break free from their teachings, she packed a U-Haul and followed the warm weather to San Diego. There, she worked in the communications field and met her husband. They have one amazing nature-loving daughter.

Her travel essays have appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune and her poetry has been published in Tidepools: A Journal of Ideas at MiraCosta College. She is active with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization with a focus on mentoring girls in military families. Her passion is haunting local and distant cemeteries in search of angel statues.

You can learn more at www.valagnewauthor.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Lost in The Ark by Val Agnew is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores family, faith, religion, and independence. Kate Bennett and her sisters learned three things from their mother: how to cook, how to clean a house, and most importantly, to leave her the hell alone. But when her mother succumbs to a blood clot in her brain, Kate remembers a pastor’s voice reverberating in her head: Trust God to smash obstacles. Kate had been dreaming of joining a religious organization called The Ark. Now that her mother is no longer around to forbid her from joining what she believed is a cult, there’s no stopping Kate from what she thinks is the fulfillment of her dream and her escape from her dysfunctional family. Within the confines of The Ark, Kate experiences the opposite of what she has always perceived the organization to be.

Lost in The Ark is a tale that may become widely shared much like Go Ask Alice. It serves as a reality check for young readers as to what happens when they fall short of managing their independence. Similarly, it teaches everyone to exercise critical thinking when it comes to charismatic leaders and the institutions they represent. There’s often something fishy about the business of salvation, the people who sell it, and why many of us are drawn to it. Val Agnew presents a strong narrative in short chapters that sustain your interest in the plot and keep you turning pages. It doesn’t take too long before you understand the aesthetic, moral, and pedagogic value of the storyline. It’s easy to remember The Ark’s stance on homosexuality is based on their literal interpretation of Scripture, one that begins to push Kate into doubt. This read is engrossing and it’s worth your time.