Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Signs and Wonders – Alex Adana

This is a great idea, and well executed. The main character, Annie Grace, is a faith healer, the centre of a huge business and daughter of an even more famous faith healer – and both of them are a con. Except … for some reason no-one can quite understand, least of all herself, that’s not entirely true.

I really liked the main character, Annie Grace, who starts off broken and cynical but still with a hint of conscience. I also loved her chauffeur / dogsbody / friend Ernesto – loyal and good-hearted. In fact all the characters were interesting and believable. I have this impression in my mind that a lot of “Christian Fiction” is anodyne, unrealistic, bland and escapist. This book is absolutely none of those things. The world you see in this book feels like the world I live in (even if I’m no Annie Grace). The people feel human, the good ones and the bad ones.

At a theological level too, it works for me – yes, god does heal people, really heal people, and he doesn’t necessarily restrict himself to using the holiest and most devout to do it either. The healing experiences described in the book sounded credible too, at least in that they tie in with real-life stores I’ve heard about healing. The only bit where I lost credibility just for a moment was in the scene where a blind woman is healed – not because I find that unbelievable, I don’t; but because her reaction seemed a little tame. I heard a story recently about a Royal Marine who went to church not particularly believing in anything much and was prayed for and received healing to a knee ligament injury, and of course his reaction at the time was to swear like a trooper … but I digress.

There was part of me that might have asked for a different ending, but I think it’s a better book with the ending it has. At its heart this is a story of redemption. What more could you ask for?


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