by Barbara Gohl

Submitted: May 23, 2012
by Barbara Gohl

Angel Song by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN 2010

While this is not a book of inspirational fiction I would ordinarily pick out to read, it is the kind I sometimes choose for light reading when I want to fill a feel-good need. I don’t usually choose fiction about anything supernatural, and in particular books that include angels. I find they often branch off into areas of imagination I don’t care to visit. Authors tend to cheapen angels and present them as humans with powers rather than the marvelous beings God created—the ministers He often sends to help and guard us.

Angel Song opens when Ann loses her sister at a particularly poignant time in her life—as she lies dying in the ambulance, the sister asks Ann for her help, but Ann can’t figure out what kind of help that might be.
At the same time Ann is comforted by some of the most incredible and beautiful music she has ever heard—“Oh-oh,” my inner critic cautioned.

Ann concludes that she’s hearing things, in her unbalanced state of mind, and that the impressions and music will go away when the trauma from her sister’s death lessens. But along the way she learns from events and from others—people, angels unawares?— that God is real and interested in her and her life.

And then there are the neighbors. They love the Lord (as her sister did and unlike Ann herself). God uses them, but Ann feels smothered by one of them, who seems always  be there, when all Ann wants is to be left alone to wallow in self-pity.

And Ethan.  Many of us when having felt God impressing us to do or say something to someone for Him can relate to showing up, stumbling around, saying or doing something,  and feeling that it was the wrong thing or that everything came out wrong.

When the reaction—in this case Ann’s— is negative, we feel  failure in our efforts for Him. But we don’t know how our efforts will be used.

I warmed to the story and was moved by it. Indeed, I feel I learned more about God and how He and his angels may work within human lives. The superb writing also contributed to my interest in this story, leading me to understand the author’s point of view. I will be watching for these authors for future good reads.

Interestingly, I came to appreciate the God of the authors. I believe they serve the same God as  Seventh-day Adventists, myself included.

The concept of the state of the dead in this book is what you would expect of most Christian denominations, but there is very little mention of the deceased after their deaths—no watching from heaven or any kind of communication, so it was easy to follow how God used people, the awareness of something special—it could have been angels— and circumstances to help Ann out of trouble while she was finding her way to Him.

Do I feel that God could work in the way this story suggests? Well, I think he can work in any kind of situation and use any medium, so I will not limit him to my own restrictions or ideas, and if he chooses to work as he is portrayed in this story, yes, I would accept that.

Would I choose a book like this if given a chance now that I’ve read this one? Probably not. I am still picky about stories concerning the supernatural that may blur lines, and the blurb still put me off. But I am glad I read this one. I was blessed by being reminded in story form of how God works through angels, people, and circumstances for our salvation.

Would I recommend this book to you? If your faith is secure, and you can read other religious perspectives without becoming upset because they do not follow your own set of beliefs, then “Absolutely.”