A Spiral into Marvelous Light

This is a novel I was asked to review. A brief synopsis of the work needs to be shared before I go further. A famous conservative, evangelist and political activist dies and a liberal newspaper report is tasked with writing an article encompassing the life and death of the evangelist.

I was a teenager in the 1980’s, so much of the material in this novel really seems to be more biographical than fictional. At many points, I felt as if I was remembering vague memories of what I saw happen throughout the 80’s and 90’s. When I reached the end of the book, I read the author’s endnote regarding his inspiration for the evangelist, and it became quite clear that I had heard similar stories unfold during those years. Growing up in a conservative midwest small-town, I  clearly understood much of what the reporter in the story discovers.

I don’t want to give away any of the details of the book, so I don’t want to address specific plot points. I will say the author does a nice job of writing, be it biographical or fictional. The story is well-told and moves pretty quickly. In the end, the newspaper reporters story is written and the response by his editor is spot-on in my opinion.

I would love to expound on the editor’s conclusion, but it would be unfair to the author to do so without the background story being understood, so I will not delve into that any further. I believe this book would be good for both liberal and conservative readers to read in its entirety if for no other reason than to reach the editor’s conclusion. Don’t cheat and read the end first though just to see what about what I am referring. Readers will do themselves a great disservice to know the ending without reading about the journey.


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