Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett

(Pretty cover... nothing to do with the story, but pretty.)

Proof of Angels was ok, but not great.  I don't think I'm going to be telling friends & coworkers that they need to go read this now.  It's kind of a genre-defying book, too.  The title mentions angels, and the plot is set up when the main character, Sean, prays in a moment of distress, but then there's cursing and none of the characters go to church.  There's also no extramarital sex, so I guess it's "clean" in that department.  Sometimes the characters talk to each other about redemption and all, but I don't really remember hardly any mention of God.

The plot itself would make a fantastic Lifetime or Christian movie.  Remember that movie Fireproof from 2004?  Proof of Angels also stars a firefighter!  Sean is a tough guy who has built up walls in his life to protect himself from getting hurt.  He ran from NYC to LA after the death of a beloved nephew and took up firefighting and surfing.  While in a burning building, he calls out to God to save him, sees an angel, is saved, and sees the whole experience as a second chance to make things right with a girl he hurt over a decade before.

The book has everything you'd expect in this type of book:  multiple characters who have overcome addictions or past sins to get where they are today.  Romances.  Everyone gets redeemed.  This isn't terrible; it's the perfect "comfort" read.  Like mac'n'cheese for your brain.  And I did get a few warm fuzzies when Sean is able to overcome great odds to get to certain achievements.

In fact, Proof of Angels may be just a little too comfortable.  Mary Curran Hackett doesn't seem to trust us readers to "get it."  There is a lot of telling over showing.  The characters will have long conversations that feel totally unnatural in order to convey feelings or relay past events.  Or there would be a long passage where Sean would "reflect" on things in order to convey feelings.  

Overall, I give the book 2 of 5 stars.  On Goodreads, this is "it was ok."  I didn't struggle to get through it.  It was a solid novel.  It just wasn't my book.  It was a little too cushy and predictable.

*I received my copy of Proof of Angels from the publisher, HarperCollins.  I did not receive payment in exchange for my fair review.

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