Monday, August 15, 2011

The Lowlands of Heaven by F. J. Dagg

The Lowlands of HeavenSUMMARY (from Goodreads): An angel’s unfinished mission on Earth, a young woman’s yearning to be complete, the evil will of an emissary of darkness – these threads weave together where two worlds intersect in a magical tale of love and hope, resolve and commitment. The Lowlands of Heaven is a classic tale of Good vs. Evil, a glimpse into a world “halfway to Heaven,” and a Christmas story. Haunting and lyrical, mystical and romantic, this masterwork of high fantasy will linger with readers long after they have read the final chapter.


Laurel is an ancient angel looking as a twelve-year-old girl who is supposed to deliver a very special gift to Kate upon her birth. Kate and Laurel are sympathetic characters I was rooting for throughout the book. However, on a perfect summer afternoon in Illinois in the early twentieth century, a terrible accident separates Laurel and Kate and hinders Laurel’s mission.

Battered in the accident and suffering from amnesia, Laurel comes to the lowlands of heaven. The lowlands of heaven are a place where angels who have not yet ascended to a higher level do a variety of jobs to help people on Earth. Laurel is taken in with Branch 92, which processes all indirect communication to God.

The book is initially somewhat confusing for two reasons. Firstly, the author presents a lot of characters and concepts like pieces of a puzzle. Secondly, the author tries to present Laurel’s own confusion and is very successful in putting the reader in her shoes.

Nevertheless, as the book moves on, the reader gradually becomes familiar with many details of the lowlands of heaven, individual angels, and their jobs. The concepts of this strange world, its rules, and inhabitants are complex, but well developed and explained. Though strange and unique, the lowlands of heaven are in many ways similar to Earth.

During her recovery from her injuries and earthsickness, Laurel is trying to regain her memories and find Kate to complete her mission. Laurel is entirely dedicated to her quest even for the price of her own life, for she knows that on her success stand lives of many people.

Meanwhile Kate has grown up and works as a nurse in San Diego on the verge of World War Two. Kate is a compassionate woman, devoted to her patients, especially children. She is always trying to find something more to help other people. Kate has a lot in common with Laurel such as love for music and flying. Yet, Kate feels incomplete, because something is missing in her life. Kate's struggle to find that missing piece and Laurel's to deliver it is what makes the book full of suspense mingled with sadness and sympathy for both characters. 

The Lowlands of Heaven is an exciting book which takes you from familiar to strange places and back and introduces intriguing characters. The setting, the characters, and the concepts are well described, and the reader can get a good feel of everything.

RECOMMENDATION: This is a book for everyone who enjoys a mixture of reality and fantasy with an intriguing plotline. 

Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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