The Day the Angels Fell — A Book Review

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It all started with a tree, didn’t it? And that theme of trees winds its way throughout scripture and throughout our lives, unfolding in myriad ways — as metaphor, sustenance, shade, comfort, even horror. The tree.

Shawn Smucker has woven a fantastic and beautiful story about a particular tree, a re-imagining of the story of the tree of life. The story begins unpretentiously, maybe even a little slowly, but if you’ll settle in, let the beauty of his words flow in and around you, I will guarantee you that you’ll be hooked.

Hooked, I tell you!

This is masterful story-telling — intriguing idea, fascinating characters, great conflict and an empathetic look at how very difficult it is for us to lose someone we love. This is, in many ways, a story about death. But do not be deceived: the book is definitely not a downer. It’s a grab-you-by-the-throat, make-you-think-as-well-as-feel, turn-our-ordinary-ideas-on-their-heads kind of book and I highly recommend it to you. Highly.

Samuel is both an old man and a 12 year old boy in this story, an old man looking back at a pivotal summer in his life. A hot, drippy, menacing summer in the valley between two mountain ranges in central Pennsylvania. He has a good friend, a girl named Abra (which happens to be the name of one of Smucker’s daughters, as Samuel is the name of one of his sons). And there is a mysterious neighbor, an even more mysterious stranger, a grieving father, and the memories of a beautiful and loving mom. There is also a carnival, three very strange old women and an antique store, to say nothing of thunder and lightning and ancient, broken trees here and there.

And there is a search here, too, a search that reveals the true hero of this piece. There is also an epic battle between good and evil, and like all good fantasies, some dang good, nail-biting, cliff-hanging scenes sprinkled throughout.

I LOVED this book. And there is just a hint, at the very end, that there just might be more of them in the future. Oh, glory!

Get thee to a bookstore or over to Amazon and order this one ASAP. And carve out some weekend time to devour it. Because I’m here to tell you – it’s a tough one to put down!

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Comments

  1. Gwen Acres says:

    Wow, with that recommendation I am right on it!!

  2. Sandy Hay says:

    Thanks Diana. i just asked my library to buy it. They’ve been great about my requests. Then lots of folk get to enjoy this.:)

  3. Agreed wholeheartedly! I’ve loved and benefited from Shawn’s heart and talent for a few years or so now. His brand new and first fiction is also Amazing; truly a compelling page turner. Destined to be in-joyed, shared, gifted, and passed on over and over….classic.

    • I absolutely agree PreetamDas Kirtana! I have a good friend named Das, but I’ve not seen it with Preetam in front of it – nice to meet you.

      • A pleasure, Diana. No spoilers, but a favorite line of beautiful writing: “His eyes gave me the same feeling I got when I first looked at the stars after learning the light that came from them was hundreds of years old.” (- Shawn Smucker, “The Day the Angels Fell”)

  4. I have several pages dog-eared – and that was one of them, PreetamDas!