by Laura Lee
Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his church duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so taken by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.
Even after he regains his focus and realizes that he has only seen a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction to the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through the vision and he must figure out what God is asking him to do.
Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul's ministry, but will put him at odds with the church he loves as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs about himself, his community and the nature of love.
Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Itineris Press (September 27, 2011)
My Review: While I have read stories, and even heard of real-life instances of a man or woman being married to someone of the opposite sex, and then falling in love with someone of the same sex, Lee takes it one step farther and involves a Christian minister. This book is very thought-provoking. As a Christian myself, I am a firm believer of spreading God’s love. I believe that we should love others, even when we don’t believe in the same things they do. That being said, I have had great and wonderful friends who are gay. However, they were not members of my church family, and the two lines never crossed. Lee challenges that when she introduces Ian and Paul. Paul, a minister, sees Ian as an angelic figure at first sight. He finds himself oddly attracted to Ian, but tries to justify the feelings--denying that he is attracted to the man, only to the angelic image he thought he saw. Over time, their relationship evolves into more than just friendship. Of course, as the reader, since you have seen this love story unfold you want Paul & Ian to--cliché as it is--live happily ever after. This is where the conflict with Christianity comes in. It had me asking myself many questions about religion and delving deeper into my beliefs. This is a very interesting book, written from a viewpoint I have never thought of. It is definitely a page-turner, as I just had to know what was going to happen next.
About the Author
Metro Detroit native Laura Lee divides her time equally between writing and producing ballet educational tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation. She is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader's Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal. Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has sold more than 85,000 copies. She has also written one collection of poetry (Invited to Sound), and a children's book (A Child's Introduction to Ballet). She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime.
For more information, you can visit her website.
You can purchase her novel in paperback for $14.99 here.
You can also purchase the e-book edition for Kindle for $6.99 here.