Today I am very happy to be reviewing an exciting recently published novel, Angel by Laura Lee, that deals with a number of issues core to the human experience. It centers on a minister, Paul, in I think his early forties who turned to alcohol rather than his faith to help him cope with the death of his beloved wife, she was in her mid-thirties. One day he sees what he thinks is an angel in his church but it turns out it is was in fact a very handsome young man. All of his life he has believed that homosexuality was contrary to the teachings of God and he feels both a sense of shame and an opening up of new ways of looking at the world as he develops feelings, including sexual, for the man.
Since his wife died, Paul has just been going through the motions of his ministerial duties. Like lots of people, he cannot really understand why his wife had to be taken so young. As the story unfolds we see Paul trying to understand why God has perhaps sent him an Angel to help him regain his faith. He also fears he may just be rationalizing long feared and suppressed desires that are contrary to his faith. It turns out the man was at the church to attend an AA meeting so he and Paul at once share a common bond.
There is a lot to thing about in this book. It is really about a man trying to discover his true nature and regain his faith. It is very well done and I am glad I read it.
Book Description from Publisher
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.
You can purchase it on Amazon
You can read a number of very well done posts and author interviews on the webpage of Orangeberry Book Tours. My post is part of this tour.