Thursday, May 31, 2012
Book Review of #1 Angels Watching Over Me by Lurlene McDaniel
Author: Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Laurel Leaf books
Part of a Series: Angels trilogy
Type of book: bone cancer, miracles, Amish, angels, 1990s, hospital
Year it was published: 1996
Happy Holidays! Bah humbug. "Happy" is not the way Leah Lewis-Hall would describe herself at the moment. She's spending her twelve days of Christmas in an Indianapolis hospital, while her mother is thousands of miles away on a honeymoon with husband number five. Leah went to the doctor with nothing more than a broken finger, but he ordered her to undergo some tests. Now she's stuck in the hospital, alone.
Then Leah meets her hospital roommate, a young Amish girl named Rebekah, and her big family. Cynical sixteen-year-old Leah has never known people like this before. From Rebekah's handsome brother, Ethan, who can barely look Leah in the eye, to her kind older sister, Charity, the Amish family captivates Leah with its simple, loving ways. When Leah receives frightening information about her condition, her new friends show her that miracles can happen. And that sometimes angels appear in the most unexpected places.
I enjoyed the characters of Leah and others, although the change happened too quickly and it also happened off-screen. That is in beginning Leah was reluctant to believe in angels and whatnot, while at the very end she decides to believe them. I do wish to have gotten to know the character of Molly and the characters of Ethan, Charity and Rebekah. Personality wise, Leah struggles with the idea of loneliness and was raised in that fashion by her mother. Ethan has a struggle of wanting to be part of the Amish community and part of Leah's world, at least he's taking the steps to that direction. The facts about the Amish are fascinating in my opinion, especially getting to know them.
There can be miracles
This is in third person narrative from Leah's point of view. I felt that the novel was too short and not conclusive. The falling action happened very quickly and one could have missed it in the blink of the eye. Although I have Leah change slightly, but its mainly off screen than anything else. Other than that, I enjoyed this book a great deal and I feel that it can really speak to the heart. In the future two novels, I do hope that I'll get a chance to be reunited with Molly and find out about her story.
Lurlene McDaniel began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. "I saw firsthand how chronic illness affects every aspect of a person's life," she has said. "I want kids to know that while people don't get to choose what life gives to them, they do get to choose how they respond." Lurlene McDaniel's novels are hard hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her novels Don't Die, My Love; I'll be Seeing You; and 'Till Death Do us Part have all been national bestsellers. Lurlene McDaniel lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (From inside flap)
For me personally the novel was too short and every chapter seemed to end with a cliffhanger. The denouement, falling action, is too quick and too blink of the eye and its gone. I did enjoy the story and found it to be touching and melancholy. This is part of the trilogy, thus perhaps other books will fill in the blanks what the first one couldn't.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)