Review

PUBLICATION DATE: FEBRUARY 1, 2011

A

ngel Sister takes place in the small town of Rosey Corner, Kentucky, in 1936. The Great Depression touches every corner of the nation.  The lingering effects of World War One continue to affect the country as well.

Fourteen-year-old Kate Merritt, the middle sister in a family of three girls, works hard to keep her family going. Her father, Victor, struggles with alcoholism and the stress of the remembrances of fighting in the war. Her mother, Nadine, tries to keep things going but is almost running out of strength. Her sisters, Evangeline and Victoria, seem oblivious to the things going on around them.

When Kate discovers an abandoned little girl, Lorena Birdsong, on the steps of the church and takes her home, the seemingly small act brings secrets to light that will change the lives of the Merritt family and the people of the town forever.

At first, I had a little trouble getting into this book. I felt the first chapters unfolded too slowly, keeping up with the family members was a little confusing, and kept wondering when we were going to get to the actual story. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, but I wasn’t grabbed by the narrative immediately. When I finally realized that I should just sit back and enjoy getting to know the characters, the novel completely changed for me.

To me, this novel felt a lot like the movie The King’s Speech, which I saw recently. The book and the movie do not have anything to do with each other, but the general feeling is very similar. There is a plot, and the plot is central to the tale, but the point of the book/movie is not the plot. It’s the characters. It is how the characters grow and change and relate to one other. The development of the characters from the beginning of the book to the end is emotional and very relatable.

This books endeavors to answer some hard questions of life. Why do bad things happen? Does God really care? Is forgiveness possible after years of anger and bitterness? It also deals with some intense moments of the horrors of war. However, it focuses on how God can give us love and joy in the midst of the trials of life.

After a slow start, Angel Sister blossomed into a beautiful, character-driven story of love, forgiveness, and redemption.