Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ann Gabhart's Angel Sister ~ Reviewed

Angel Sister: A Novel [Paperback]
Ann H. Gabhart
Paperback: 407 pages
Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800733819


It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together. Her father slowly slips into alcoholism and his business suffers during the Great Depression. As her mother tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load.

Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?


Ann Gabhart captivated me with Angel Song, a penetrating and emotive tale of a family living through the Great Depression, struggling with addiction, religious piety and financial strain. Each character is skilfully drawn from young Kate, responsible and protective, to her father Victor, lost in nightmares and the temporary comfort of a bottle. The family's joys and misfortunes are slowly revealed through flashbacks and memories, in perfect harmony with present day happenings. A thread of suspense, an unusual hermit and a little girl called Lorena Birdsong, provide further substance to an already fascinating story. Ann's honest look at alcoholism, the abuse of power by a church leader and fatherhood is powerful and moving. Angel Sister is testament to Ann's exceptional skills as a writer and storyteller.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

1 comment:

Espana said...

I, personally, had to question my own faith when the faith of each main character was severely challenged in ways that would make them either call out to God or walk away. The faithful prayers of friends and family, along with gentle confrontation, showed the changes only God could produce. Was it then all rose-colored glasses and happily-ever-after? No, but deep character, true love, the process of forgiveness, and the ability to persevere through difficult circumstances were honestly displayed.
The day Katie finds abandoned, five-year-old Lenora Birdsong on the steps of the church, life for the Victor Merritt family changes-some for the better and others in heartbreaking, tumultuous decisions. Ann had me rooting for our modern-day rules to override what actually takes place.