Friday, February 25, 2011

Angel Sister

Angel Sister: A NovelIt's been another busy week, but in a good way this time! Jesse and I purchased some much needed new furniture and appliances for our home. In our eleven years together, we've only purchased three pieces of new furniture (all of which are gone except for a few kitchen chairs), usually going the used route when we needed something. Now that we don't have small children and the pets are trained (most of the time), we are upgrading. It feels good to have things in the house we can be proud of. It was hard at first spending the money. I am a hardcore clearance shopper; I rarely, if ever, buy clothing that isn't on the clearance rack, and I'm a very careful shopper, usually spending a couple hours online printing off coupons before I even go grocery shopping, so when I saw the prices, my heart stopped a bit. But I have a good husband who helped to get us good deals while still having things we can be proud of. I'm looking forward to having company over now that we actually have room for them to sit!

Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart is a poignant story of love and forgiveness in a Southern small town. Kate Merritt is the responsible one of three sisters. As her father, Victor, has slipped further and further into alcoholism, she has picked up more and more burdens around the house. At fourteen, she isn't lovestruck like older sister Evie nor does she want to go fishing all the time like little sister Tori. Kate tries to take care of her father as he stumbles in drunk night after night while her family refuses to discuss what is going on. Lorena Birdsong's parents have abandoned her on the church steps of Rosey Corner in the hopes of a family taking her in and caring for her. Her mother tells her that she will be found by an angel, so when Kate discovers Lorena, the girl is certain that Kate is her angel. Lorena is quickly adopted by the Merritt family, and her presence heals some of the wounds that have been festering, until the town decides that Victor can barely take care of his own daughters because of his drinking, so Lorena must be placed with a different couple. This course of action will put the town on a collision course where the Merritts will be forced to face the past and deal with the ghosts that have been haunting them for thirty years. Gabhart is best known for her historical fiction about the Shakers, but with this novel she has shown readers that she is one of the best writers in Christian fiction today. Kate is a heroine in the vein of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, and readers will fall in love with this young woman who will stop at nothing to save her family. When her faith is shattered by a terrible act, I couldn't help but cry the tears she refused to shed. It's her will that pulls her family back together piece by piece. Every character is fully fleshed and remarkably real. I will miss these characters now that the book is done; that is a testament to Gabhart's writing.

Thank you to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available February 2011 from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group at your favorite bookseller.