The best part of being a book blogger is encountering those books that demand you read them twice or more to truly find all the words to describe them properly for a review. Those books also manage to stay on the shelf, to refer back to, to read again and again, for they are so beautifully crafted and speak to different thoughts at each reading. Today I am pleased to present such a book for you: Angel by Laura Lee.
About the book:
Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.
Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.
Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.
While presenting a beautiful and enticing story to read, the author also forces you to re-evaluate and examine everything, as you get to see Paul and his journey of discovery. Paul is forced to examine his beliefs after realizing that the angelic man who he stumbled upon in the narthex was occupying his head and his heart in a way nothing had before. Contrasting what he now feels and knows, against the proclamations of his church, and the disapproval of his congregation; one crisis in Paul’s life is being replaced with another that will adjust his entire view on the world forevermore.
To simply label this book Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, GBLT Erotica, General Erotica and Religion & Spirituality Romance, as well as Contemporary Romance does not acknowledge the emotional impact of the story, nor do the writer justice. It truly is literary fiction, with multiple influences, great impact and a message for love being present in many ways, and from many sources.
This is not a GBLT erotic novel – the sex is not detailed, and although there is a love between two men, the more graphic and impactful scenes are brought by the poetic writing and descriptions of the emotional intimacy achieved between the two characters. However, it seems to be a need of publishers and readers to narrowly define genres, and most books with M/M intimate relationships seem to carry this marker.
What emerges is a surprisingly complex novel, able to incite discussion and evoke thought. The placement of excerpts, some theological others from historic texts but all focusing on mountains: their meaning and religious significance as the story progresses, subtly indicate the content and impact of each chapter as the story progresses to reach an inevitable climax.
I give Angel by Laura Lee 5 of 5 Stars
About the Author:
I am the author of more than a dozen books, the novel Angel, and numerous non-fiction titles including The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation (Black Dog and Leventhal), now in its third printing and published in France under the title Le Dictionaire des Contrairites; Arlo, Alice and Anglicans (Berkshire House/W.W. Norton), which tells the story of the church made famous in Arlo Guthrie’s song and movie Alice’s Restaurant; The Name’s Familiar: Mr. Leotard, Barbie and Chef Boyardee (Pelican Publishing), a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection and its sequel The Name’s Familiar II; the 100 Most Dangerous Things in Life (Broadway Books/Random House), which was featured on Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning; Blame it on the Rain (HarperCollins), The Elvis Impersonation Kit and A Child’s Introduction to Ballet (both Black Dog and Leventhal), Schadenfreude, Baby! (Lyons Press), and Broke is Beautiful (Running Press).
You can find her on her blog: Author Laura Lee
**I received an eBook copy of Angel from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.