ANGELS IN THE SNOW

Melody Carlson, Author
Melody Carlson, Author . Revell $14.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8007-1816-9
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Like a spun sugar confection, this sweet novella by CBA veteran author Carlson provides a light diversion for inspirational readers, but fails to offer much in the way of substance. The story begins slowly. After losing her husband and son in a boating accident, artist Claire Andrews flees to a cabin in the woods to attempt to heal from her grief. She's also suffering from creative block, and hopes to begin painting again. While taking walks in the snow, she finds two pairs of tracks—one set large, the other set child-size. In her grief, she imagines they belong to her lost husband and son. The tracks, coupled with an injured dog she finds and names Michael, spark dreams of angels, and it's not long before the creative muse strikes and her depression lifts. When Claire discovers that the tracks are made by author Garret Henderson and his 10-year-old daughter, Anna, romance predictably follows. There are some excessively sentimental moments (" 'You never intended to go out there and die. And you never meant to leave me all alone like this. It's just the way life happened.' She took in a deep breath. 'And I release you both now. I release you to celebrate eternity—to fly with the angels!' "). Carlson has an unfortunate penchant for loading her sentences with adjectives, as well as overusing parentheses. She occasionally tells, instead of shows, and there are some unnecessarily dialogue-heavy pages. CBA readers who want a quick escapist read, however, may be entertained. (Sept.)

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