"Our Lady of the Forest" by David Guterson

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A close, damp, green, cynical, and very real recounting of a young woman's hallucinating vision of the Blessed Virgin in a rain forest in the Pacific Northwest. The most telling part is the speed with which the faithful gather for this purportedly concrete manifestation. The use of chat rooms and Web forums leads to a camper city forming overnight on the site.
Guterson is genuine, vivid, and unblinking in portraying the various players. And the cupidity - both in its lustful and avaricious meanings - shows through in this closely- and well-observed story.
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