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I received this book from Booksnooze (look along the right sidebar) for review. I wish to extend my thanks.

This is a book that would benefit from your not knowing it is Christian fiction up front (I unfortunately read the inside pages.)

I say this for, within a very few pages in, a mystery ensued that I was eager to figure out. Knowing as I did of it’s genre, I discarded rather immediately that the heroine of the book was mentally deranged!

For indeed this is a book about angels and demons and good and yes you guessed it–evil. Yet, to say that is to give nothing away, since it is genuinely laced with plenty of suspense and intrigue.

A young, single mother, abandoned by a drugged out husband, and confronted by a past lover,  then her husband’s drug dealer who claims monies are owed, a father who has lost his mind, a sister murdered by  the old lover, and a mother who skitters around the country reviewing restaurants, contends with a convergence of all these people back into her life in one hellish few days.

Molly, the daughter, is the center of Lexi’s life, the only anchor for her in a sea of troubles. A rather precocious child, Molly seems to delight everyone she meets, and there is nothing Lexi will not do to give her daughter a better chance. Working two jobs, taking on a roommate, and doing without are all in service to giving Molly a normal and happy childhood.

Until of course all goes awry suddenly. Grant, her husband returns to town after seven years and desires to reconnect with his daughter. Lexi is opposed, still trapped in anger. Then Warden returns and badgers Lexi into testifying for her former lover Norm at his parole hearing–the very person who had murdered her sister Tara.  Grant returns with Lexi’s mother, who  abandoned Lexi’s father when he lost his mind, not being able to cope with the loss of both daughter and husband.

Warden has the uncanny and mysterious ability to appear all to often where he should not be. He knows “too much” and his threats are veiled, ultimately against Molly. Lexi finds herself questioning her own sanity at times as she tries to dodge and control all these unwanted people in her life.

The only sane, yet still confusing, element in her life is Angelo, the unexplained blond giant of a man who seems to suddenly be there whenever he is needed. He saves Molly, he saves Lexi, and works at the hospital where her father lives.

Enigmatically, Angelo, never seems to give “straight” answers to much that Lexi asks, but rather encourages her to be guided by love, rather than the hatred, anger, and despair that crowd her mind in the face of the swirling disaster that boils perilously ever closer to her quiet life with Molly.

Of course, it all comes to a head, and you begin to read faster and faster, wondering how it will all play out. Being a Christian novel, you expect of course, that the good guys will win, but how it will occur, remains a mystery that you yearn to solve.

This is not great fiction–I won’t mislead you. You won’t find the great American novel here. But, if you are looking for a good beach read this summer, this would be perfect. Not so convoluted in its plot that you are having to go back and remind yourself of who’s who, yet, satisfying in its drama, you can blissfully sip that pina colada, apply a bit more sunscreen, and relax into a world of  dark intrigue in early spring in the mountains.  

Of additional interest here is a list of questions at the end of the novel, suitable for a book club selection group. If your church has one, and you like to read some fiction now and then, you might investigate this as a choice. The relationships within the book are such that they can easily serve as topics to investigate our own relationships with loved ones who have disappointed us over the years.

Of seminal interest is the concept of love as a means to overcome anger, hatred, and painful loss. A discussion of this topic, love, is alone worth the price of the book, for it brings forth the most difficult places to retain love–abandonment, criminal victimization, and parent-child roles.

This book was provided by Booksnooze, through agreement with the publisher, Thomas Nelson. Other than receiving the book at no cost to me, there are no other stipulations. The review opinion is mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”