I have mixed feelings about this book. It is my introduction to A.J. Cattapan's writings, and it is very well written. But I also have a little unease. So First I will cover off the positives and then share my concerns.
First this book is very well written. It grabs you right away and you really want to know what is going to happen next. It is new and unique in presenting Guardian Angels, as people who have already passed away, and they are given a chance to help someone who faces struggles similar to their own. So when you die you become a guardian angel, and as an angel you have the choice to fight for your charge or give up. We see both in this book.
Nanetta was a young girl with her heart set on one thing. She wanted to get into a specific university program. When she doesn't she commits suicide. But the peace she was expecting in the afterlife did not come. First she goes through periods of darkness and witnessing the life of a girl named Vera. She soon meets another guardian angel who starts to teach her some of the ropes. But even the angels have their own faults and soon he is distracted and disappearing all the time. Nanette is desperate to help Vera and struggling to find a way.
It is a very touching and moving book. And I do believe that it might help some young people who are considering suicide realize the greater extent of the impact of their actions. And the book could be used as a discussion guide about the topic of suicide, and even why we are here.
But my concern is that some young readers might take the book too literally. That they might consider the possibility of the second chance in the afterlife, that there is no theological basis for.
As fiction it is very well written, with strong characters and a compassionate and moving storyline. The pacing is good. The handling of the topic is excellent. And I would recommend it but I would be selective about who I passed this book on to. The nuances of the theology and fictional betrayal of angels would be lost on less mature readers or those more grounded in the faith. But as mentioned it is very well written.
Books by A.J. Cattapan:
Seven Riddles to Nowhere
Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!