cover image Paper Angels

Paper Angels

Billy Coffey. FaithWords, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-446-56823-4

In his sophomore novel, Coffey (Snow Day) returns to smalltown Mattingly, Va., with a journey of self-discovery and hope. An angel named Old Man serves as a companion and guide for Andy Sommerville, but fails to prevent a brutal act that claims the life of a precious friend and leaves Andy badly burned. Regaining consciousness in the hospital, Andy feels abandoned by Old Man and also feels that nothing really matters any more until he opens up to a beautiful counselor named Elizabeth. He shares the secret of his angel and of 12 odd items the Old Man told him to store in a special box. Each of these apparently unrelated trinkets launches memories of choices and life lessons that combine to provide answers for Andy about his life’s purpose and why God allows suffering. Evoking the spirits of It’s a Wonderful Life, The Shack, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Coffey’s gentle storytelling, while not complex in plot or character development, does offer layers of humor, descriptive language, vivid imagery, and lots of wisdom. (Nov.)