Ann Fletcher has returned to Charleston to see her younger sister Sarah receive her master's degree. But she soon finds herself riding in the back of an ambulance, watching helplessly as Sarah fights for her life. As they race to the hospital, Sarah talks to someone who is not there...and hums a melody Ann has never heard before.
That unfamiliar, unearthly beautiful melody keeps finding Ann--first in the hospital chapel, then in her dreams, and finally in Sarah's empty house.
Two neighbors have a profound effect on Ann. Ethan McKinney lends her a shoulder to lean on. And as a carpenter, he volunteers to help Ann get the Fletcher family home into shape for selling. His strong presence is a pleasing distraction. Ann's twelve-year-old neighbor, Keith, has Down Syndrome and the guile to believe he can actually see and hear angels. In fact, he insists they are looking out for her in ways she's never imagined.
God begins to reveal himself to Ann--both in her new found friends and through supernatural events. As she discovers the very real presence of angels around her, will she finally open her heart to receive God's healing love?
Angels are always a fascinating topic to talk about. We don't know much about them so there is always great speculation if and how they exist in our world. Do they roam around the earth unaware to us? This book gives an interesting outlook to the mystery and wonder of this topic and how faith can be strengthen through them.
Ann is someone who doesn't have much faith and doesn't believe in a higher power. This is mainly due to circumstances in her past that make her wary of trusting into something she can't believe in. Then her young sister tragically dies which thrusts Ann into a journey she never expected she would take, meeting people she normally wouldn't have hung out with. Ann's relationships with these people are interesting because she finds herself starting to try to understand what happened with her sister during her last few moments. Even though angels are never visibly seen, their presence is still felt throughout the book by Ann and other characters.
While the premise is unique, I just couldn't really get into the story. I've read Kathryn Cushman's other books and I have really enjoyed them. In her other books, she's been able to really delve deep into the characters' personalities and bring them to live. The reader really feels as if they know them through just words alone. However in this book, I just never really connected with any of the characters. I honestly never felt for any of them. All the people that Ann was introduced to, especially Ethan, Tammy and Keith, seemed quite cookie-cutter. I felt that the writing was a bit weak at times. The plot seems to just plod along and while the focus is on the angels, I never felt any inspiration from them at all. The ending was very predictable. It was if the whole story was leading up to the moment where a drastic situation would have Ann have a change of faith and then everyone would live happily together ever after.
Overall, this probably was not my favorite read of the year. If you are interested in angels, it's an intriguing look at them and there can be discussion to be had after reading. I, myself am not a huge fan of them in books so that is probably why it didn't resonate with me as it did with other readers. I still have hopes for Cushman's future books because I know how good her writing can be.
Angel Song by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman is published by Thomas Nelson (2010)
This review copy was provided by the publisher