Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"The Lowlands of Heaven" blog tour

The Lowlands of HeavenThe Lowlands of Heaven by F. J. Dagg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads:
An angel’s unfinished mission on Earth, a young woman’s yearning to be complete, the evil will of an emissary of darkness­­—these threads weave together where two worlds intersect in a magical tale of love and hope, resolve and commitment. The Lowlands of Heaven is a classic tale of Good vs. Evil, a glimpse into a world “halfway to Heaven,” and a Christmas story. Haunting and lyrical, mystical and romantic, this masterwork of high fantasy will linger with readers long after they have read the final chapter.

My thoughts:
This is a beautifully written story. Kate is a woman who is missing something vital in her life. She is not sure why she is missing it, just that she is. Her parents died in a crash with a locomotive.  Her mother held onto life long enough for help to arrive and the Doctor to deliver her unborn child, Kate is the orphaned baby.

Kate is a nurse in the 1940's, the world is breaking out into war. A girl is brought to her hospital ward suffering from severe burns during the Blitz in London. Kate believes that if she helps the girl survive and get better that her missing piece will become a part of her. Kate is drawn to Sam. He is a pilot who is giving her flying lessons. She tells him her plan to help the children in the world and he agrees to help her. He develops feelings for her, but she cannot commit because of her missing piece.

Laurel is an angel sent on a mission to give Kate the missing piece. Because Kate has a role to play in doing good for the world, it is vital that Laurel reach her before it is too late. Music is vital to Laurel's health and well being. She has an amazing talent on the violin.. I loved the imagery and emotions that F.J. eloquently described with the music. F.J. weaves a rich tapestry with music.  Music in this story does calm the troubled soul.  It makes me almost yearn for the days when my violin was played according to my mood, fast and furious fiddle music when I was upset and sonata's when I was at peace with the world. (I'm 20 years out of practice.)

The book is called the Lowlands of Heaven because while things are happening on Earth, help is also being given from a station in heaven called Branch 92.  This is a way station of sorts, spirits who are not ready to progress into the glory of Heaven stop here until they are ready to ascend.  It's also an aviary.  Birds come to Branch 92 and help carry messages.  Laurel finds herself receiving help from the residents of Branch 92 to fulfil her Divine duty.

The book starts off slowly to set the plot and characters. History is revealed concerning Kate and why she suffers from missing a part of her fundamental make up. The second section is where the book gains some action.

I was very impressed with F. J. Dagg's writing style. It is haunting in it's beauty and complexity. At times his choice of words are more poetry than storytelling.

About F. J. Dagg: F.J. Dagg grew up in Michigan, where for a time he was a musician in a variety of rock and blues bands. He graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a degree in Philosophy and an additional concentration in Music Theory and History. After moving to California, his focus turned from music to the writing of fiction, which he pursued as various day jobs 
allowed. Though not a member of any religious denomination, the mainstay of the author’s life is his faith, a fact reflected in his writing. His pastimes include playing the guitar and violin, reading, and surfing.
You can visit F.J. Dagg’s website at (Taken from Pump Up Your Book's page)

He is also on twitter:!/fjdagg

I received a copy of this book to review by participating with Pump Up Your Book.  The opinions expressed are my  honest thoughts and opinions.

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