Monday, January 05, 2009

Angel Unaware by Elizabeth Sinclair

Angel Unaware
By Elizabeth Sinclair
Publisher: Medallion Press
Published on November 1, 2008
ISBN-13: 9781933836317
364 pages

Page 1: "Dora, Grace is okay. Her fall is broken. No harm done."

Dora DeAngelo, an angel who is employed in the Celestial Maintenance Department, is perhaps one of the most clumsy angels in Heaven. She commits mistakes after mistakes and nearly had her best friend, Grace, killed when she had replaced the wrong kind of wings for her. She then appeals to be sent to Earth as a mortal, but such request is unprecedented. To Calvin's surprise (Calvin is her neurotic, micromanaging boss), the Heavenly Council approves her request and she is sent to help a family and is to return to Heaven on Christmas eve.

Dora's mission is helping Tony Falcone trust in his ability to love again, and his six-year-old niece Penny to become a child again. Penny could not get past the guilt thinking that she is responsible for her parents death. For that, she fears Uncle Tony's disapproval and does everything she could to earn his approval. Dora comes to the household as Penny's nanny. With help from Heaven, she gains the ability to cook, drive and whatever else needs doing to fulfill her nanny role.

Tony is bowled over by Dora's unusual beauty and Dora, never been a human before, marvels at Tony's handsome physic. Her boss Calvin warns her not to develop attachment to her mortal charge and keeps checking on her all the time. Penny slowly opens up to Dora. And as expected, Dora develops feelings for Tony. The feeling is mutual.

When Dora confides with Millie (Tony's caring neighbour) hypothetically about her 'friend' falling in love with a man that is wrong for her and wants to know how to stop loving him, the smart lady immediately detects the truth. Love at first sight is very possible and love, according to good old Millie, is the only God-given emotion that "can't be controlled and that's blind to everything." I love the way Millie explains to the poor girl who has fallen in love:

She placed her hand over her heart. "You know it in here. For some people, it has sprout, then come to bud and grow, but for others it's there immediately, like an open rose drinking in the sunshine. But no matter which way it hits you, it's there, and the right kind, the strong kind, lives forever.

Angel Unaware is not just about Tony and Dora, but also about the little girl Penny. She has loaded upon her tiny shoulders the burden of guilt for her parents death. Tony is afraid to show his affection toward her despite loving her to bits. His lack of affection causes her to think that her uncle hates her. And then her long-lost (ex-drug addict) affluent aunt comes to claim custody. It is nerve-wrecking for everybody. Tony's love for Penny shines through. I cried toward the last few chapters.

And if you ever wonder about the story behind Cupid, wonder no more because here it is, well, at least according to this story anyway. Here's for a touch of comedy from page 125:

"Once old Cupid fires his arrow into you, that's it."

Dora didn't correct Millie's reference to the legendary bowman. She knew that the Archangel Michael had created Cupid as a practical joke on Raphael. Michael had taken perverse pleasure in circulating a rumor that Cupid, not Raphael, oversaw love in diaper with a bow and a quiver of arrows strapped to his tiny back.

This is an easy and fun-to-read book which can be finished in one sitting. Lots of heartwarming moments. I have truly enjoyed it and will not hesitate to get the author's other works such as Miracle in the Mist (2006 Anne Bonney Readers' Choice Award for "The Most Emotional Book"), Baptism in Fire (2008 Anne Bonney Readers' Choice Award for "Best Heroine"; "Best Cover"), and Eye of the Dream (2008 Anne Bonney Readers' Choice Award for "Best Plot").