Death connotes to be a mystery, and something that can cause tremendous pain and loss. As a believer, I know where I will go after my time here is done, but that is the not all there is to death. We may know where we are going, and we may have comfort knowing we will see other fellow believers there too, but the time in between causes a great deal of pain.
Shawn Smucker’s book, In The Day the Angels Fell, Sam is a young boy who loses his mother. The loss of her devastates their small family, and pushes his father almost out of Sam’s reach. In his pain, Sam is determined to bring her back. Two men enter the scene, one a newcomer to the town, another a recluse sort of neighbor. Both men are mysterious.
Abra is Sam’s best friend, who sticks by his side through thick and thin. Abra wants to support Sam as a friend but from the beginning, is against bringing his mother back.
The point of this story is to see the epic battle of good and evil. There are a number of times in the story that Sam wrestles with himself. The good and evil war in him like a physical fight, at times. Abra constantly brings Sam back to the good in himself, but during times apart, he can feel the evil growing stronger.
This is a young adult fiction book, it is safe and clean, but real. It is a great book to read and then share with your 10/11 year olds and up – one that could lead to some great discussions. The pace is a slower pace than some books I read, but I rather enjoyed that, I was able to really think about the book after reading it, and grew to really love the characters. I highly recommend this book. It might be considered a younger version of This Present Darkness.
The is not a single novel either, the best news was the ending when the Shawn Smucker teased us with a sample of his next book!
NOTE : I received a copy of the Day The Angels Fell at no cost.
more about The Day The Angels Fell
It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.
After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?
Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry.
I think everyone’s looking for a place in the world – not a physical location as much as an emotional one. Just a tiny bit of space to set up shop, to exist.
Life hinted at where that space would be for me when I was a small boy and books picked me up and carried me away. If you came looking for me in the mid-80s you would have found me sitting on a large porch attached to a ramshackle farmhouse, reading about Narnia or the Shire, brushing away the flies, constantly saying, “Okay, mom, just one more chapter.”
But then, normal life, with all of its misleading promises and plastic desires, got in the way. I wandered. Geographically, I went to a hot city in Florida, an old village in England, and then back to Virginia. Emotionally, I traveled even further. Finally, after ten years of searching, I found stories again. Or maybe they found me.
Now I live in that place I was always trying to find. I wake up beside my beautiful wife, Maile. I make breakfast for my six children. I spend the rest of the day capturing stories, doing what Steinbeck called the impossible: trying to explain the inexplicable. Trying to transplant stories from my mind to yours.