This is a book that at first glance seems all surface, and a plot that you are sure you have encountered before. Elmer Gantry in drag? Or Marjoe, perhaps? It is not a new story, but an enduring one, and will continue to appear from time to time as long as faith healers and evangelists are out plying their craft.
Scams, fakery and the road to God. Evangelism as a career move. Sort of. The protagonist, Annie Grace, has been raised since childhood to be a miracle worker. But as our story opens, she no longer can remember any miracles, knows she is a fraud, and now the ministry is being threatened by the district attorney, a congressional investigation, and a persistent television reporter.
But around her, miracles seem to be happening, where none were before.
So this little surface book has some deeper questions to ask. Such as:
– what is the difference between redemption and atonement? Can we really make up now for the ill we have done in the past, or will karma catch us in the next life? Or in this life, for that matter.
– How tied are we to the persona our parents assigned us when we were children? Can we ever move away from that, or are we doomed to be what the parental units said we were.
– Does everybody really lie, like Dr. House says? If so, how much? Is it a condition of existence?
This is a Christian novel without all the preachy-ness that so often condemns them to forever be out of the mainstream literary fiction genre. I have read some otherwise very good Christian novels that for me were marred by too much ‘churchiness’ if you will. You know what I mean, characters having truly unlikely conversations about their faith and about God and church. Stuff like that.
So read this book for the meta issues. Believe in the miracles if you wish, consider them coincidence, if you prefer. But consider the underlying theme of guilt and deliverance and what it might mean for you.
One final question: does a book which contains accounts of miracles belong in the paranormal category? Just asking….