Book Review: Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne with Travis Thrasher
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Country music artist Jimmy Wayne and author Travis Thrasher have penned a moving story about 43-yr-old Kevin Morrell and 15-yr-old Thomas Brandt and the intertwining of the lives through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. Kevin is facing the likely closure of his 10-yr-old marketing firm, while anticipating the coming birth of baby twins. Thomas, together with his mom and his younger sister, is trying to simply survive, as his mom has chosen to leave his alcoholic father and is struggling to make ends meet. All will find hope in their faith in God and through acts of kindness to each other, in the true meaning of Christmas.
I found Paper Angels to be a book with a lot of heart, and I especially enjoyed the character of Thomas. Despite his poverty and the bullying he endures, Thomas rises above his circumstances in a manner that is sure to inspire readers. I do have to acknowledge that I found parts of the story a bit slow, especially some of the scenes with Kevin and his struggling company and his worries about being able to provide for his family. While I can definitely relate to his struggles, for some reason I just found that his scenes caused the book to drag a little, and I would look forward to returning to scenes involving Thomas or his mother. However, overall I definitely found the book to be worth reading and there were even moments that brought tears to my eyes in the latter chapters, especially due to Thomas and his unselfish and forgiving behaviours. I found that the book brought to life the hope that God gives us, and also highlights our chocies to make a difference, and not let our circumstances give us an excuse to do nothing.
Any readers who have not yet had the privilege of giving to others through the Angel Tree program will find it difficult to resist from doing so after reading this story. I give this book a solid recommendation of 4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher via the netgalley program.