It always says a lot to me that I can whip through a fiction book in a day or two and a nonfiction book in weeks. When I start reading a good story, I get drawn in and just want to know how it ends. Last night, I finished reading a new book and when I was done, I just smiled.
The book I read is Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart. I have never read a book by this author before, but I enjoyed her story and her writing.
Storyline: Kate's family is a mess. Her father, Victor, is turning to the bottle and her mother, Nadine, and he are both belittled by their controlling fathers. She finds an abandoned little girl on the church steps when she goes to the church to take her grandfather some preserves. This little girl causes a stir in their extended family and the town. You hope that this will be the story of healing in Kate's family and without giving too much away--it is just that.
Writing: The writing is good and easy to read. The characters were easy to imagine and seemed very real. They weren't perfect by any means--even Kate, who the reader deeply sympathizes with. I liked that.
Plot: The plot is interesting. It is set in 1936 during the Great Depression. The story of Nadine and Victor's past is interwoven with the story of the present in this book. The past for these characters, as for us all, is rooted in our pasts. The desire for power takes a central role in this book and it is clear how that desire of Victor and Nadine's fathers affected not only their lives but the lives of their children and their children's children.
It is rare to find Christian books that are just fun to read that are not romance novels. This one is not and that makes it a unique book in my eyes. I think it's easy to draw readers in when it is a romance novel. As women, we love to read romantic stories and we get drawn in very easily, at least I do. For a book to not rely on romance as the central theme in the story and to portray it as a part of the story--just as it is a part of our lives, but not the whole--is much more realistic in my opinion.
Yes, this book is characteristic of typical Christian fiction. But, in this case, I think that's a very good thing. This is a book you would sit down with and enjoy from beginning to end. Just make sure you get yourself a good cup of tea or coffee before you get started because you may not want to get up out of your comfy chair for a little while...
Please note that I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review by Revell Publishing.