Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Angels in the Gloom- book review

Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry

This was one of the authors for book club for October.

It is a historical novel that takes place mostly in England during World War I. There are a few underdeveloped characters in the novel. It seems to me that the pages devoted to Richard Mason and Judith Reavley are of little consequence to the story as a whole. I most note, though, that the book is part of a series, so it seems likely that the characters are dealt with more completely in other books.

The Joseph Reavley character, however, is well developed and his quest is pretty well developed. Again, the search for the Peacemaker is reasonably expected to be an ongoing one. Stories of intrigue and suspense are not my favorites, so the best part of this book in my opinion was the psychological struggle. After all, isn't that the most applicable part of any story. Joseph struggles to follow morality and truth, as best he knows them. Some of the time he is misguided by preconceptions, but in the end he comes to the truth.

When asked if God has abandoned the world, Joseph has the following notable answer:

"I don't know. There are times when I look at what's happening, young men crushed and dying, the land poisoned and turned to filth, corruption of what I used to trust utterly, and I'm not sure. But the things that Christ taught are still true, of that I'm absolutely certain. Meet me at the end of the world when we stand at the abyss, I'll tell Satan to his face just as certainly: Honor is still worth living or dying for; no matter how tired or hurt or frightened you are, face forward and seek the light, even if it's gone out and you can't remember where it was, keep going. It's always right to care. It's going to hurt like hell at times, you'll think it's beyond bearing, but if you let go of that then you have lost the purpose of existing at all."

There is much idealism in that answer, but also much truth.


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