Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Book Review: The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck

The Audible Publisher's Summary:

A heartwarming novel from Glenn Beck, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Christmas Sweater and phenomenally popular radio and television host.
Rachel Price’s one happy memory from her childhood is of playing outside with her father, Mitch, on a cold and snowy day. In that moment he took her hands in his and called her his angel. She felt safe, loved, and protected. Rachel’s mother dies in a car crash a few years later - a sudden and unresolved ending to a complicated relationship. Mitch’s reaction to certain realities surrounding the death pushes Rachel away and confirms her fear that Mitch never truly loved her at all.
Years later, Rachel’s daughter, Lily, is the only light in her dark life. Rachel is consumed by an abusive marriage but too afraid to escape. On Christmas Eve, Rachel’s husband raises a hand to Lily in a moment of aggression that finally snaps Rachel out of her docile state. She realizes immediately that she must protect her daughter in ways her own parents didn’t protect her and remove Lily from the situation. Through the help of an old and dear friend, Rachel has a safe place to go, but first, she must say goodbye to her father.
As the snow falls on this Christmas Eve, Rachel learns that it’s never too late to start over. The Snow Angel is a tale about family, forgiveness, and learning to treasure our memories while allowing ourselves sto move forward.

I don't always agree with Glenn Beck's politics or the way he presents his rhetoric - It's just really not my thing. I'm fiscally and politically conservative but I don't like the idealism that precludes women from making their own choices - and the zealots who want to turn America into an us vs. them society. To be honest I'm even less aligned with the socialist leftwardly leanings, but like I said - politics aside, here was this novel with good reviews on the New York Times Bestseller list and there I was without a book to listen to for a weekend road trip. I ended up downloading several novels (Gregory Maguire's Out of Oz, Jo Nesbo's The Redbreast and Glenn Beck's The Snow Angel).

After deciding that Out of Oz was too dull and slow moving to finish (a decision I regret only because I didn't make that decision until 14+ hours into the novel), I switched up novels and listened to The Snow Angel. I was surprised by the content, by the tender care that Mr. Beck gave to his characters - the depth of the female characters and the rawness of some of the emotion. If I had been handed this novel without a by-line, I do not think I ever would have guessed that Mr. Beck had written it - nor would I have guessed that the novel wasn't written by a woman.

The result was a solid literary offering - interesting, compelling with a solid foot into the realm of chick-lit minus some the shallow self-serving fluff that dominates that genre. If you have a Y chromosome though I'm pretty sure that this novel does not hold much for you listening or reading pleasure.

Narration was split between January LaVoy (as Rachael) and Ron McLarty (as Mitch). Mr. McLarty is well known for his audiobook narration, he's narrated nearly all of David Baldacci's novels - as Mitch there was the perfect amount of 'grit' for a hard-working, well intentioned construction worker who is slowly losing himself to Alzheimer's Disease.

The Snow Angel was written by Glenn Beck and produced by Simon & Schuster Audio, copyright 10/25/2011. The Angel's Game was narrated by January LaVoy and Audible favorite Ron McLarty. The Snow Angel has a runtime of 6 hours 27 minutes.

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