Wednesday, 18 May 2011

BookSneeze Review - The Promise of an Angel

It probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to those of you who know me that I like reading. I read when I can't sleep, I read when I'm waiting for appointments, I read when when I'm eating, and I read when I'm sitting quietly waiting for small children to fall asleep. So when I read about BookSneeze, I thought I'd give them a go. BookSneeze send free copies of books to bloggers, in exchange for bloggers reviewing them. Sounds good to me. I like free books!

I signed up with BookSneeze, and chose to request an e-book first because I was impatient and didn't want to wait for a hard copy to be posted from the US. The book downloaded, and I would have been reading it within seconds if I hadn't also had to work out how to download software to read the thing - this however I'd say was definitely user idiocy error, not BookSneeze's fault. I'm now the proud owner of a free Kindle for Mac programme and a Kindle for iPhone app. And one day I'll work out how to get them to talk to each other.

So, for my first book I decided to try "The Promise of an Angel" by Ruth Reid. I read to escape, and an Amish existence is probably about as far away from this life I can get to whilst still enjoying huge amounts of (admittedly imaginary) good food. And I found myself crouched over my computer, long after I should have gone to bed, clicking forwards and forwards until I had devoured the story in a couple of sittings.

What's so compelling? Judith Fischer's little brother has an accident whilst under her supervision. He loses the use of his legs, and the family and community accept this as God's will. Judith meanwhile believes that she has met with an angel, who promises her brother will walk again.

Is she deluded? Is she giving him false hope? Should she bow to the pressure of church and community and stay silent, or should she continue to speak what she believes to be the truth, even to the point of losing her chances of marriage and being sent away from everyone she knows and loves?

This is more than a nice story about life in a fictional Amish community. This is a story about what happens to faith under fire. About how integrity and submission can look like defiance and even insanity.

Does Judith's brother walk again? Will she marry the man who has been marked out as hers for years? Will her sister leave the community?

I'd answer, but I think it's worth reading for yourself. Escapism, light reading, but with thought, and with a handy study guide at the end for anyone who wants to look deeper. It's probably going to appeal more to women than men. And I'm looking forwards to the next in the series.

I review for BookSneeze®

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