Sunday, November 28, 2021

#BookReview: The Soft Touch of Angels: A Graham Saga Novella by Anna Belfrage

Historical Family Saga
Time Slip

Author Links

After months of torment, Duncan Melville has had enough and punches one of his bullies in the face. In retribution, he is set upon by the tormentor’s much older brother…

There are few things that upset Alex as much as seeing a member of her family hurting. So when her ten-year-old grandson is severely injured she decides the only thing to do is to take him home, never mind that Duncan’s biological mother, Sarah, will likely throw a fit.

Sarah does throw a fit. She wants the living reminder of the terrible events that led to his unfortunate conception gone, immediately. Alex refuses. Duncan is a child—a child of her blood—and she will not fail him.

The Christmas spirit in the Graham home is seriously threatened as unhealed wounds break open. Caught in the middle is Duncan, a boy who doesn’t quite know where he belongs—or with whom. 
I don't remember when I added THE SOFT TOUCH OF ANGELS to my library, but I couldn't help cracking it open over the holiday weekend. I've favored The Graham Saga for several years and the temptation to step into their world again, even for a brief period, proved too much to resist.

At only one hundred and thirty-one pages, THE SOFT TOUCH OF ANGELS is a quick read. Set shortly after THERE IS ALWAYS A TOMORROW, the novella builds on the events chronicled in REVENGE AND RETRIBUTION and affords a lovely segue to the series companion, THE WHIRLPOOLS OF TIME. To date, THE SOFT TOUCH OF ANGELS boasts the most modest page count in The Graham Saga, but I would caution newcomers from treating it as a series teaser or sample. Belfrage offers enough detail for unfamiliar eyes to enjoy her work, but the artistry and multigenerational depth of this story would be impossible to recognize without the foundational background of the full-length novels.

Belfrage weaves some truly beautiful moments into the tapestry of the Graham holiday, moments of both reckoning and recognition that pay homage to some of the most significant events of the series. Threads colored by Michael's quiet strength and Mrs. Parsons's playful banter warm the spirit, but my imagination was sparked by how the author balanced these moments against the more challenging realities of the family's collective experience. The shadow of Rachel Cooke, the complex legacy of the attack suffered by Sarah, and the realization of the person she's become its wake create a powerful portrait of compassion, courage, personal growth, and familial fortitude.

An atypical holiday read; THE SOFT TOUCH OF ANGLES proved delightful and thought-provoking, the kind of read that both satisfies the heart and lingers in your mind's eye long after the final page.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: November 28, 2021

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