Do you, dear reader, ever find yourself in either one of these positions:
A. You are in the mood to read something, anything, but the shelves are bare?
B. You have way too many books stacked by your nightstand, under the coffeetable, on the dining room table, on a shelf conveniently located near the bathtub?
I'm B, most of the time. Which means now. It's a delicious dilemma, trying to pick the next book to read, and I usually end up having a different book at the ready in nearly every room in my house. I have four books on my nightstand (I partake of each one every night), ten near my coffee table, and...none near my bathtub.
That's right. None near my favorite reading spot. Because I read it. In two days.
Frank Peretti's new novel, 'Illusion', is that book. Although I sometimes shy away from Christian-themed stories (I find that some of them pontificate a bit too much), I do read those that have a touch of the divine. I have read a few of Mr. Peretti's other novels, and I appreciate the way that he doesn't impose his beliefs on the reader. He seems to be a gentle type of person, someone I would like to meet.
'Illusion' is the story of two magicians, Dane and Mandy. They have been together for forty years, famous for their creative feats of illusion. But they are more than a 'magic act'; they have been married for almost forty years and still very much in love. But when Mandy dies in a car accident, Dane's world is shattered and he turns his back on his career. While he is mourning in solitude, Mandy awakens in the present, but as the nineteen year-old she was in 1970. Amidst her confusion, she discovers the ability to perform impossible feats of magic.
Mr. Peretti has written a story that made me keep turning the pages. What will happen when Dane and Mandy finally meet? Why is she still alive, when he saw her die? So many questions, but the answers come quickly, and in a most unusual way.
While the characters are well-realized, the line separating good and evil was a bit smudged. But that's what made this story so interesting. Faith plays a huge role in this story of love, science, reconnection, and surprise.
'Illusion' will be released in March 2012 by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster