The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker
Published by Baker Publishing Group, Fleming H. Revell Company on September 5th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Christian, Coming of Age, General, Religious, Young Adult Fiction
It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened. After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift? Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry.
I was fortunate enough to be included in the Revell Books’ Blog Tour on this book, The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker. I had never heard of this author, but I loved the cover of the book and was very eager to check out the book. I had no idea that it was labeled as “YA” (Young Adult), and even now, having read the book, I’m not sure I would have realized that unless I saw it in writing.
The Day the Angels Fell told the story of Samuel Chambers, an elderly man who lived alone in the farmhouse he grew up in. He was getting ready to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, causing him to look back at his childhood and share his story in the first person. The chapters go back and forth from Sam in old age to Sam years back when he was a twelve year old boy.
After having lost his mother in a thunder storm as a young boy, Sam struggled with whether or not he believed death was a gift. This story includes the basics of right and wrong, good and evil and temptation. It evokes readers into thinking about loss, grief and healing, while taking us on Sam’s life adventure as he seeks to find the Tree of Life.
The author writes this book in a very descriptive nature so it was easy to get sucked right in as I read this book cover to cover in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down – I kept thinking “just one more page” as I flipped on and on until there were no more pages to flip. I felt like I was traveling right along with the characters as I could imagine the scenery and had very vivid pictures in my mind. It’s spiritual, but not so much religious. There was so much going on under the surface. You just have to plunge into the story and hold on tight.
There’s so much more I’d like to tell you about this story, but I refrain from writing spoilers, so you’ll just have to read it yourself if you want to know more. Don’t let the “YA” label deter you either – this one is for all ages.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (BY THE AUTHOR):
“I think everyone’s looking for a place in the world – not a physical location as much as an emotional one. Just a tiny bit of space to set up shop, to exist. Life hinted at where that space would be for me when I was a small boy and books picked me up and carried me away. If you came looking for me in the mid-80s you would have found me sitting on a large porch attached to a ramshackle farmhouse, reading about Narnia or the Shire, brushing away the flies, constantly saying, “Okay, mom, just one more chapter.”
But then, normal life got in the way. I wandered. Geographically, I went to a hot city in Florida, an old village in England, and then back to Virginia. Emotionally, I traveled even further. Finally, after ten years of searching, I found stories again. Or maybe they found me. Now I live in that place I was always trying to find. I wake up beside my beautiful wife, Maile. I make breakfast for my six children. I spend the rest of the day capturing stories.”
You can connect with Mr. Smucker and his book here:
I was provided with a trade paperback copy of this book from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for this, my honest review.