Monday, December 05, 2005

Review by Phil Igney

Last week I was honored to read a review by Phil Igney, who happens to be married to my friend Keri. I have more female readers than male, so I really appreciated the kind review Phil wrote--I hear he's been reading my books even at stop lights and in waiting rooms! Authors often receive reviews of single titles, but it was nice to read this review of several books. Phil was very generous, but I thought his comments about allegory were also insightful. --Angie (who blushes to post this because it's really TOO kind).

The first thing that strikes you when you read an Angela Hunt book might be the incredible research necessary to write with such depth on any given topic. Sure, if you read a John Grisham novel you’ll encounter legal nuances because he is a lawyer, or if you read any of James Harriot’s works you won’t be surprised to find out he was a veterinarian. But Angie pours out seamless prose in an incredibly varied spectrum of plots.

You undoubtedly will be captivated by her interest in cutting edge story lines. Indeed, the genesis for a current hit television show with a woman assuming the presidency could very well have been taken from one of her books.

You will be entranced with her vocabulary, exacting choice of words and her deft handling of turning a phrase. None of the subtleties and shadings of syntax are left to chance. It might not be the Queen’s English, but it will be precisely what the moment dictates.

What you want from a good read, is a great story teller. And that is what Angie is. She draws us into her world (and that could anywhere in the world) and we are swept along a tightly woven, straight forward plot. She parcels out enough information to hold our interest and feed our inquiring minds, but doesn’t tip her hand until events warrant.

Her research is extensive and exacting. In her books we are drawn into the complexities of operating the White House, the U. S. Supreme Court, as well as surviving life in the South American Amazon jungle. She has extensively studied subjects as varied as history, politics, medical research, jurisprudence, and televangelism.

Ultimately what holds our attention are the characters. People with whom, maybe we can’t necessarily identify, but people we come to care about. Angie crafts her characters in a way that even when they seem their most inhospitable, we genuinely want the best for them.

This is not always the case in allegory. Allegories often get caught up in their symbolism. Indeed, that is what allegory is. People are symbols who reveal hidden meanings to us. The characters are archetypes, prototypes, or perfect models who reveal a strength of character most of us can only hope to espouse.

Not so with Angie’s characters. We care for them, and want the best for them. Well, most of them. Angie can show her humorous side too. In her book, The Debt, we meet a televangelist by the name of Abel Howard. Abel is the husband of the main character, Emma Rose Howard. Part of the fun of the book is the inner workings of a mega-church and television ministry. The head of this spiritual empire is Abel Howard. However, you would swear Abel was switched at birth with an unmentioned, but certainly existent brother named, Cain.

Angie’s characters are real people with foibles, hidden pasts, and current anxieties. Much like most of us. But Angie brings us along the path to ultimate redemption. The world is a difficult place, but there is hope, there is a Savior who loves us they way we are, where we are. No matter how difficult the road, there is hope. Life can have real meaning and purpose. That is not Angie’s story. That is the hope Christ came to bring. And Angie shares that timeless story in fresh and imaginative ways.

--Phil Igney
December 03, 2005

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A perfect description for Angela's work! I try to explain these things to my friends when recommending her books but now I'll just give them this excerpt instead! :)