Monday, 21 November 2011

The Lowlands of Heaven by F J Dagg

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This masterwork of high fantasy will linger with readers long after they have read the final chapter.”

The above is extracted from this book’s hook.  I tend to view such claims with just a smidgeon of cynicism, but in this case, I can wholeheartedly concur that this story does indeed linger.

It is a story that embraces tragedy, perseverance, compassion and hope with a man-sized helping of fantasy, magic and romanticism.

Kate is a young woman in 1940s America who miraculously survives a pre-birth accident when her parents were involved in a fatal car crash.  She is a beautiful and compassionate young lady, but shrouded in a veil of sadness:  she is ‘incomplete’;  she loves her friends and family and has a devotional love for children, but she cannot love as a woman loves a man.  Laurel is the frail and beautiful angel endowed with the enormous challenge of finding Kate to give her the ‘Gift’ that will render her complete.  It’s a task of mammoth proportions – an angel is weakened by her existence on Earth.  After a short time spent there, Laurel recuperates in The Lowlands of Heaven: the midway point between Earth and Heaven where angels and doves are the post office of prayers from Earth.  Her determination to find ‘her’ Kate and restore her to completeness leads this Messenger of Love back to Earth on a hazardous pursuit of the young woman, so that she can give her the ‘Gift’ of her heart and has to draw on every ounce of her again failing strength in her race to find Kate before the consequences of rash decisions prove disastrous.

It was a real pleasure to read such a well-edited book, with only a handful of very minor errors and it is one which leaves you extraordinarily satisfied.  The cast of characters is wide and varied, each, both good and evil, perfectly conceived.

I was captivated by the author’s style.  It is elegant, intelligent, eloquent, organised and……..poetic and lyrical.  Each page is a feast of luxuriant prose with a magical glow.  The ending is breath-taking and almost heart-stopping.

I look forward to more from this author and highly recommend this book if you feel like an inspirational flight of fantasy.

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