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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop.
Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier.
They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her.
I had read This Present Darkness as well as Piercing the Darkness by Peretti and loved them both. They were actually my first foray into Christian fiction. I had high expectations for this book but I wasn't sure how the science fiction/time travel would fit into a Christian fiction book. Peretti managed to keep my interest throughout. I even fell asleep reading this one because I just HAD to see what happened next. Yepp, lying in bed holding one eye shut because I couldn't focus on the words being displayed on my Kindle Fire if they were both open only to discover that the blink had turned into snoring and it was now morning! It's that good!
Peretti drew me in to all of the emotions in such a way that I felt as if I was experiencing them myself. Confusion, hurt, loneliness, love, disappointment, loss, being scared and so many more. The characters are so well fleshed out you almost feel like they have been your friends for forever!
I loved this book, I really did, but two things bothered me. First is that several times throughout the book Mandy uses the word Guy where many would interpret it in context as being a misprint of God, and not in a good way. For example, "It still amazes me. And computers? Guy, it's unbelievable!" and no she isn't talking to someone named Guy or even a male. (in the above case she is talking to a woman and no males are present at all.) It is directly addressed as being odd when one character says, "Guy! I haven't said that in years. Where'd we get that, anyway?' Mandy shrugged. 'A take off on gosh or golly?'" and that is the end of it as the conversation shifts away from that. I didn't really understand it unless it was a slang word from the late 60's or early 70's.
The second is that the time shifting thing is never really explained other than a machine was built that can somehow create new timelines and transport people to them. Not a major deal and perhaps Peretti is leaving an opening for a second book.
I did enjoy the several layers involved in this book. There is the love Mandy has for God, the love between Mandy and Dane and the all encompassing, never stops trying to connect love that God has for us. Peretti tells us that this book is about more than a love story between two illusionists. It is about "being lost in this weird and sinful world, trying to discover who we are and where we belong; the deception and lure of this world that we overcome as we reach for heaven, our home; the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit and His quiet assurances that we have a place in this world as well as a holy and eternal destination; and our longing and lifelong quest as the bride of Christ to be united with Jesus, our bridegroom". This is a great love story, but it is also a great LOVE story!
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Labels: Frank Peretti