Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sage Blog Tours Presents: "Angel" by Laura Lee Book Review

October 8 - October 22, 2012

by Laura Lee

Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his church 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 taken by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.

Even after he regains his focus and realizes that he has only seen a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction to 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 the vision and he must figure out what God is asking him to do.

Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul's ministry, but will put him at odds with the church he loves as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs about himself, his community and the nature of love.

AngelAngel by Laura Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I began reading this book, I had no idea what I was delving into.  There is nothing from the synopsis that I was given that hinted at the fact that this book had a positive homosexual theme.  I am not new to reading homosexually-themed books--it is the second I have read.  But I have to say that this book was much more forceful and descriptive in the homosexual theme, and I found it more disturbing in content.  I do have to say that I feel the book masquerades as a "Christian" book, but it is not too far into the book before you realize that the message is much different.  This book's message is basically that one can be a committed Christian and a homosexual at the same time.  That goes contrary to my beliefs, and it did make it a difficult read.  I could never endorse this book  for this reason, but I will keep my personal beliefs out of the general review of this book.  I just want the reader to know where I stand before I begin the review since this is a sensitive topic.  And understand that I did not say I am anti-gay or anything like that.  To be perfectly honest, I have come in contact with gays who are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in this world.  And I do agree that no matter one's sexual orientation, one should have the freedom to attend church and anywhere he or she would like to go.

My favorite part of this book was Mt. Rainier.  I live in Washington state--not far from that glorious mountain, as a matter of fact.  All I have to do is go outside my door and walk to the street, and I will see this breathtaking mountain--as long as no clouds are in the way.

I  think the fact that Paul takes an active interest in the soul and well-being of Ian is absolutely wonderful.  I love that fact because after all, that is what a Christian should do--especially a pastor.  I do not agree with letting a non-Christian be on staff at a church, even if it is custodian.  I also don't agree with the deception that Paul practices in order to keep his job.  When Paul became a minister, he knew what he was doing.  He knew what was expected of him in his professional and personal life.  It would have made no difference what questionable behavior he was participating in--deception is wrong.  It was no long ago that our church had to remove our senior pastor due to his separating from his wife and refusing to be reconciled.  I see no difference between this issue and a teacher having a mutual dating relationship with a student.  Teachers don't get to do that--no matter how attractive the student is.  Pastors don't get to fool around, and if they choose to, they need to be the one to make the decision to leave the church or change their behavior.

I will say that the book presents a compelling argument.  There are direct quotes from the Bible, and it is a thorough examination of one side of the issue.  I prefer a balanced look when it comes to issues like this, but I fewl instead that there were judgmental and prejudicial views.  It would have been nice for Paul to have gotten some good counseling from other Christian ministers--especially in the beginning.  But it seems to me like Paul was rather isolated, either by choice or by decree.  I really don't know.  Even though it may not have changed the outcome, having good Christian counseling on the other side of the issue would have made me feel like this book was trying to examine the issue on both sides rather than just one.  Oh, and one additional caution--there is some profanity and sex scenes (though not too graphic).  I can say that the writing style is quite conversational, and one can read this very quickly.

I will leave it up to you if you wish to read this book.  Oh, and one additional thing.  I don't mind comments on this review, but please, let's not attack each other.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

Metro Detroit native Laura Lee divides her time equally between writing and producing ballet educational tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation. She is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader's Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal. Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has sold more than 85,000 copies. She has also written one collection of poetry (Invited to Sound), and a children's book (A Child's Introduction to Ballet). She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime.

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