Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Hey, I remember you..."

... she said shyly, as she slipped back into the room.

Where have I been? If you really want to know, click here. Otherwise, suffice it to say that there is just NO EXCUSE for me totally leaving you guys alone for so long. My goodness, the place is a wreck, there is dust everywhere, cobwebs from here to there, and I think a stray cat may have gotten in through the back door. I'll have it cleaned up in no time. I promise.

While I'm trying to get this place back in order, I thought I'd leave you with this...

Earthly Pleasures, by Karen Neches

Ms. Neches actually sent this book to me a little while back. I was planning on reading it as soon as I got it, then dishing it right away. Well, best laid plans aside, it didn't happen.

What did happen is that I picked it up one recent Saturday afternoon, after a rather rough week, and just got sucked right in.

The premise, basically, is that Heaven is nothing like my Preacher tells me. It's more like the ultimate cool town, where you can have literally anything you want through the use of your personal Wishberry. The Wishberry's like a Blackberry, but better, as it can even conjure up your favorite mocha latte in mere nano-seconds. The angels are stylishly dressed, there is the ultimate in shopping via Retail Rapture, and the secrets of life on Earth are taught through five Beattles songs. Oh yeah, and everyone can catch up on their favorite Earth people through the tv show called Earthly Pleasures. It's like Big Brother, but real.

One of Heaven's greeters is an angel named Skye. Skye loves everything about Heaven, and has no desire to ever be born and try her hand on Earth. Her life (for lack of a better word) is practically perfect, until the day that Earthly Pleasures current fave Rick Blaine ends up in her office. In the few seconds Rick spends with Skye before being revived on Earth, something happens. Skye becomes almost obsessed with secretly watching Rick on Earthly Pleasures, but she doesn't understand why. Meanwhile, Rick has some secrets of his own.

This novel was fast, fun, and totally unexpected. The writing was witty. The characterizations were solid. The ending was just enough to be satisfying without crossing the line into sappy.

Personal sidenote: I belong to a very independent, fundamental branch of Christianity. We have some pretty serious beliefs about Heaven and how to get there, as well as what it might be like if you do. This book didn't match those beliefs in ANY way. However, it is a BOOK, people. It's a work of fiction. The author doesn't say, in any place that I have found, that she has researched it and truly believes this is what it is like. It is a FUN read, and I in no way found it to be anything less than perfectly enjoyable.

Earthly Pleasures was a great find, and I am ever so thankful to have picked it up when I did. The light-hearted look at Heaven, as well as the deeper look at a love gone a little crazy, was just what I needed, when I needed it. Sometimes, it almost feels like I've got my very own wishberry. On that Saturday afternoon, I sat down on my front porch and prayed for a way to get my mind off that really rough week, and be whisked away to someplace magical, and then I picked up this book. And found laughter, and fun, and fantasy. And love.

And besides, taking a quote from the book, which borrowed a quote from a rather famous group... Love is all you need!

Keep Turning Those Pages!!

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