With a title like Cheesus Was Here and a cover that matches perfectly, this book is one of those books that I couldn’t help but want to read. The entire book – cover, synopsis, and title – all sound like something that will present you with warmth, humor, and an interesting story that will draw you in and hold your attention until the very end. And Cheesus Was Here does just that.
When I started reading this book, I flew right through it – it was such a fun and entertaining read, and I found myself really drawn to the overall story and the characters.
In Clemency, Texas, Delaney Delgado has had a difficult life, causing her to not believe in any kind of higher power. Her younger sister died, her brother isn’t always nice to her, and their mother has taken up neglecting her living children in order to work and mourn the one that is no longer here. Delaney knows by now that miracles aren’t real – and she sees no point in pretending otherwise. She has even taken to working Sunday mornings at the town store so she has an excuse not to go to church with her mother and everyone else in town.
One night, when she is leaving work, she is picking herself up some snacks, including drinks and a Babybel cheese wheel. Her coworker thinks it would be fun to steal the Babybel cheese wheel from her, and when he unwraps it, he sees something that no one ever expects to see when they unwrap a wheel of cheese – an image of baby Jesus.
Of course, Delaney doesn’t think it looks that much like baby Jesus, and since she doesn’t believe in miracles, she brushes it off. Her coworker won’t give her the cheese wheel, so she takes a picture of it, since, after all – it was supposed to be her cheese. However, the next day, things are crazy – everyone in town now seems to know about the image on the cheese, and they are all calling it a miracle.
“Everybody always thinks they’ll know the exact moment their life skips onto another track, the moment the meteor shifts in its path and hurtles toward Earth. I didn’t see this meteor coming. Didn’t even realize I’d just snapped a picture of it.”
Delaney didn’t expect everyone in town to go crazy over the cheese wheel, calling it a miracle and the even the news reporters are talking about it, featuring interviews on television – and before Delaney knows it, the cheese wheel has been purchased by one of the churches in the town, and is on display during services. The town store is constantly sold out of Babybel cheese wheels, because everyone wants to purchase them and see if God is leaving any special messages for them, too.
When another miracle strikes the town, Delaney is convinced that they are all fake, and is determined to prove it to everyone in town who keeps putting her down for believing in it. After a news interview airs with Delaney telling everyone that she believes that the miracles are fake, people in town have turned on her – her boss has even gone so far as to threaten her job if she keeps saying it.
When she teams up with the son of the pastor from the competing church in town, she develops a friendship with him and he helps her to figure out what’s really behind the miracles – are they fake, or are they real after all? And can all of this talk of miracles finally help Delaney deal with her grief over her sister?
I don’t really pick up books that have a big focus on religion or rely heavily on religious aspects, but for some reason, I was really intrigued by this one. Although it was a religious book in some aspects (I mean, the entire town was incredibly religious and they were pretty much convinced that a cheese wheel was touched by God), I found it more humorous and fun than I had expected. It was the perfect kind of contemporary book that I needed at the time – I laughed so hard when I read it.
With Delaney’s snarky and no-nonsense attitude, she was determined to get to the bottom of the “miracles” that were happening in her neighborhood, because she honestly was convinced that they couldn’t possibly be real. She was such a great narrator for this book – she was witty and made amusing comments, and I loved her determination.
At the same time that there were a lot of funny moments in Cheesus Was Here, there were also sad moments in the book, too. The death of Delaney’s sister hung over her family like a ghost, and you can tell throughout the whole book that she had never really dealt with her grief. It caused her to stop believing, and it was hard watching her struggle with it, but it added so much depth to her character.
If you’re looking for a great contemporary mystery, this is a really great book to pick up. It’s charming, amusing, and a story that you won’t soon forget.