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September 7, 2003

Miracles are happening in the fictitious Capital Region town of Hudson City, and thousands of pilgrims begin to descend on the sorry, has-been industrial spot.

Keith Scribner’s Miracle Girl (Riverhead; 256 pages; $24.95) is a well-crafted story about deceit, money, religion, faith, love and redemption.

Sue Phong is a young Vietnamese-American who begins appearing in the dreams of Hudson City residents, visitations that precede a series of miraculous healings.

But John Fitzgerald Kennedy Quinn, who sells real estate for the local Roman Catholic diocese, isn’t buying it. He’s a skeptic at heart, a result of growing up during the Vietnam War and Watergate. Then Quinn comes face to face with the elusive Phong, and he with little faith begins to believe–just not necessarily in the miracles.

Scribner’s edgy dialogue and nuanced storytelling make Miracle Girl an exceptional read. The author, who lives in Oregon, is a Troy native.