In her fifty-eighth bestselling novel, Danielle Steel tells the breathtaking story of a motheras love and a sonas gift, of the tragedy that nearly destroyed a family...and the miracle that saved them. Johnny Angel With a word or a smile, seventeen-year-old Johnny Peterson could light up a room, fill his motheras heart with pride, and inspire the best in those around him. A star athlete and class valedictorian, tall, lanky Johnny had a future filled with promise--until he stepped into a car on prom night, dazzling in his rented tux, and in an instant, it was all taken away. In the months that follow, Johnnyas family and high school sweetheart, Becky, struggle to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. No one is more devastated than Johnnyas mother, Alice, whose oldest son owned her heart from the day he was born. But amid the heartache, something miraculous is about to happen to the Peterson family, something that will alter the course of each of their lives. When a sudden illness sends Alice to the hospital, a glorious vision comes to her in her dreams. There, standing before her, is Johnny himself, with that familiar twinkle in his eye, gently urging his bewildered mother to be strong for her splintered family. For Alice, seeing her marvelous lost boy is a miracle she canat quite believe but is more than willing to embrace. In the weeks to come, Johnny will appear in the most unlikely places, visible only to the two people who need him most: his nine-year-old brother, locked in a silent world, whose special needs Johnny always seemed to understandaband his mother, who has always nurtured her family, but who now needs a guardian angel of her own. Through a season of hope and healing, Johnny will walk by his motheras side, leaving miracles in his wake, leading his parents, his girlfriend, his sister, and his brother out of their grief. But as Alice is about to discover, Johnny has returned not just to help those he loves, but to uncover a purpose even he cannot comprehend--one that will change them all forever. An unforgettable story of loving and letting go, of mixed blessings and second chances, Johnny Angel is a celebration of life, hope, and forgiveness. It will make you laugh and cryaband hold your loved ones just a little bit closer. From Publishers Weekly In the 1962 rock ballad, Johnny Angel isn't an angel, but an angelic young dreamboat. In Steel's book, the titular hero is both-as well as class valedictorian, a football/track star, a faithful boyfriend and a college scholarship winner who holds down two jobs to help out his family; on top of it all, he has qgreat teeth.q Killed in a car crash after his senior prom, 17-year-old Johnny Peterson is sent back to earth as an angel. His mission: to fix certain troubles left unresolved at the time of his death involving his girlfriend, Becky, her impoverished mother and his dysfunctional family. The plot may strike TV viewers as little more than a warmed-over Touched by an Angel rerun, but the theme-the healing power of love-is classic Steel. Unfortunately, the story is flawed by clunky characterizations. The sticking point isn't that Steel reveals her characters' problems through authorial proclamation rather than action and dialogue-that bluntness is simply her style-but that she explains those problems repeatedly. The first time readers learn that Johnny's dad drinks himself into a stupor every night from guilt over causing the accident that traumatized Johnny's brother, Bobby, into muteness, it is necessary information. The second repeat can be justified as emphasis. But multiple further repetitions are downright tedious. Still, Steele's heartfelt depiction of the central relationship between Johnny and his mother is touching, and few readers will get through the revelation of Johnny's final gift with dry eyes. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist With this brief foray into the world of a family devastated by the death of their teenage son, Steel moves away from the contemporary romance stories she is famous for, although her fans likely won't complain. Handsome, tall, polite, college-bound, hardworking, and the backbone of his fragile family, Johnny Peterson also is a star athlete and class valedictorian. All in all, his future is looking pretty bright when a terrible accident on prom night kills him and shatters the already tenuous relationships of his parents and siblings. Of course, Johnny, being the great guy that he is, returns as a vision/ghost/angel and begins to repair the damaged lives of his family and friends. Before we know it, his mute and semi-autistic brother is speaking, his father has laid off the booze, his girlfriend gets a scholarship to attend college, and his heartbroken mother gains the fortitude to let go of her grief and embrace life once more. Despite its sad story line, Steel ties it all together with a neat and somewhat happy ending. Librarians should stock up; this one will be hot this summer. Kathleen Hughes Copyright Ac American Library Association. All rights reservedThe plot may strike TV viewers as little more than a warmed-over Touched by an Angel rerun, but the theme-the healing power of love-is classic Steel. Unfortunately, the story is flawed by clunky characterizations.
|Publisher||:||Dell - 2003-01-15|