Book review: 'The Gift of Angels' helps readers see angels through trials
Cancer has changed a lot of things in Angela Thornberry’s life. This terrifying disease has sapped her strength physically and spiritually. She is in constant pain, she can barely stand to sit through church anymore, and crushing anguish has crippled her relationships.
Diagnosed with a fast-growing form of pancreatic cancer, Angela — the heroine of Rachel Ann Nunes' novella “The Gift of Angels” — has unexpectedly been brought to the gate of her own mortality. The beautiful life she has built as a wife, mother and devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could slip through her fingers at any moment.
All around her Angela hears inspiring stories of miracles and angels, but their blatant absence from her life is beginning to shake her faith. She can’t understand why after a lifetime of devoted service to Heavenly Father he would now leave her to suffer alone.
But as Angela and her family mournfully lurch into the world of treatments and therapy, strange things begin to happen. Angela’s quiet pleadings for strength are answered in an unexpected way, and she begins to wonder if angels may just be present in her life after all.
Nunes has long been an anchor in the realm of women’s literature. She is a three time Whitney Award finalist and a recipient of the March 2006 Book of the Month Award from the Utah Governor's Commission on Literacy.
“The Gift of Angels” is a sweet, fast-paced story about accepting trials and moving forward in the face of adversity. Angela is a genuine character who readers can identify with.
Because the subject is heady, it seems appropriate that Angela’s attitude is not always perfect. She totters on a tight line trying to keep her emotions in check, and she is not always successful. Her faltering faith is understandable and pulls readers into her cheering section because they will want her to come off conqueror.
Angela's experience battling cancer will likely strike a chord with readers who are confronted with similar situations, but the insights she gains through scripture study and revelations can easily be applied to other trials as well.
This book is a quick and stirring read that will leave audiences ready to better spot the angels in their own lives.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.
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