The Angel Trilogy: Lurlene McDaniel
Genre: Young Adult, Inspirational romance,
Leah is not happy about being stuck in the hospital for the holidays while her mother is thousands of miles away on a honeymoon with husband number five. Until she meets her hospital roommate, Rebekah, and her big family. Cynical 16-year-old Leah has never known people like this before. From Rebekah’s handsome brother, Ethan, who can barely look Leah in the eye, to her kind older sister, Charity, the Amish family captivates Leah with its simple, loving ways. When Leah receives frightening information about her condition, her new friends show her that miracles can happen. And that sometimes angels appear in the most unexpected places.
Because this is a 3-book in 1-book series, It is going to be very difficult to not give away spoilers. I I will try not to give away too many. So you’ve been warned!
This series captures the multiple difficulties of an only child who has gone through more changes in life than the normal teenager. Her mother is dysfunctional and has not been able to settle down in the past. Just when her mom is finally entering a stable marriage, Leah faces the most difficult situation in her life – cancer. In the hospital she meets Ethan, an Amish teen, who’s sister is also in the hospital. Together they build a tentative and then not so tentative relationship while both Leah and little Rebekah fight to overcome their health problems. Through her own battle, she builds a bond, not just with Ethan, but with his entire family. Of course, the romance between her and Ethan is the best part. Such a sweet and gentle love story. But he’s Amish, and she’s not. Amish don’t leave their own. Can their relationship ever actually work out?
I enjoyed these stories because of the message of hope they convey. Despite the difficulties in her life, she finds new hope in her growing love for Ethan, in his family, and their faith and love, and even in her own newly forged family. She already exhibited a strong maturity, having gone through many trials beforehand. If it were even possible, she grows stronger still, this time, learning how to let herself love and care about other people in the process, where as before, she had been rather cynical. In a world full of tragedy and darkness and depression, with plenty of books to match that mindset, this book sends a message of hope.
Note about Lurlene McDaniel and the series:
I bought the 3-book-in-one novel and read the entire set as one book when I was a teen. I kept it in my library all this years. No lie. I have gotten rid of SO many many books, yet I kept this one, and I reread it sometime last year. I only just recently discovered that McDaniel is also a Christian, which makes complete sense, now that I think about it. I’ve read multiple books of hers and most if not all of them, have a bible verse listed in the beginning. I guess I wasn’t paying attention as a teen! I am so glad that authors like McDaniel exist to provide young adults with pieces of literature that express hope and a silver lining in a world often full of tragedies large and small.