I'm not gonna lie.
I was pretty excited when Trish of TLC Book Tours asked if I would read and review Kathryn Maughan's new novel, "Did I Expect Angels."
I was so thrilled, in fact, that it wasn't until I actually received the book in the mail that I started to worry…. What if I didn't like it? How on earth would I look at the photo of the author and say something uncomplimentary about her work? But then, how could I NOT and send all the lovely folks that visit my blog out to spend their hard earned money and harder earned time on a book that wasn't truly worth it?
So I held my breath and started reading. It felt something akin to how I feel at the boys recitals -fingers crossed, hoping that their work has paid off, that they will finish their songs smiling, having hit all the right notes.
I needn't have worried.
Kathryn's book is beautiful music – not the full orchestra, put-on-your-beaded-gown-and-tiara kind of music. It's not a big intense, complicated epic. It's more like the song that comes on the radio while you're washing the dishes – the one that takes you back to a place you'd forgotten you'd been to, or has a lyric that speaks exactly the right words into your day.
"Did I Expect Angels" does the remarkable job of revealing the inner workings of two souls in a way that is surprisingly simple, pleasingly real.
I have a feeling that it's the right song for so many different ears, for as many different reasons.
"Did I Expect Angles," is about a woman, Jennifer, who could be a girl you new in college. She's got her quirks but she's lovable, smart and loyal – just good people. You root for her. You hope for her. And then you're there holding her hand, wishing you could do something more than say, "I'm so sorry" when tragedy strikes.
It's also the story of a Costa Rican immigrant, Henry. He's the kind of older gentleman that you might pass on the street on any given day and not think twice about. He's nice enough, with his velvet accent and easy smile – but you just don't have much more in common with him than a shared aisle in the grocery store. You smile and walk on, not knowing that his worn hands belie a tale that could make all the difference in the world.
"Did I Expect Angels" drifts seamlessly back and forth between Jennifer and Henry's stories, each of them drawing you in, but all the while leaving you wondering how an earth these very different tales have managed to find themselves on the pages of the same book.
It's a story about the power of realizing that we all have more in common than we might think. It's a story about the urgency of looking closer, really listening, really SEEING the people that you might otherwise walk on by.
It's a story that you find yourself thinking about long after you've read it.
I'm happy to say that I loved "Did I Expect Angels", and I hope that you will too.