Angel Sister

Written by Ann H. Gabhart
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

When fourteen-year-old Kate Merritt goes to her grandfather’s church early one morning, she is surprised to find a five-year-old child sitting on the steps.  Lorena Birdsong sees Kate and immediately decides she is the “angel” her mother said would take care of her.  It is 1936, and the lean years of the Depression have forced Lorena’s family to abandon her.  The Merritt family may not have much money, but they have plenty of love and welcome Lorena into their family.  However, Kate’s two grandfathers have other plans for Lorena.

The 1936 story alternates with flashbacks to the lives of Kate’s parents, slowly revealing how their family’s many troubles came to be.

Gabhart is one of the best Christian-oriented historical fiction authors writing today.  Her characters have depth, her plots are complex, and there are no easy answers.  Praying does not always work, at least not in obvious ways, and her characters struggle with their faith the way any sane person would when confronted with war, alcoholism, abuse, and abandonment.  Angel Sister is the beautiful, sometimes difficult, story of a family using love, faith and forgiveness to hold itself together.