The first in Ripllinger’s five-part Angelic Letters Series, Pewter Angels sets the stage for the tragic but uplifting love story of Henry and Jenny, two young lovers who in an almost modern day Romeo and Juliet are separated by those who think they know best.
This novel is set in a simpler time and place: it was a time before cell phones, email or Facebook, when our reliance on simpler methods of communication was both a blessing and a curse. When someone on the other side of the world can be both seen and heard in an instant, it’s hard for us to fathom a world without communication. However, when circumstances dictate that Henry and Jenny be separated, with many unanswered letters between them, they’re forced to rely only on their faith, both in God and in one another, to see them through.
As Ripplinger’s first novel, Pewter Angels has an unhurried pacing not typical of inexperienced writers. This pacing helps slow the reader down and give them a lesson in patience, just as Henry’s own mentor, Mr. Engelmann, repeatedly tries to stress the importance of this virtue to Henry throughout the book. This is a life lesson that many of us in our own “microwave worlds” of instant gratification would do well to heed.
As a first-time novelist, intentional or not, Ripplinger also gives us insight into his own character and sense of values, all of which can be seen firmly entrenched in his writings. And even though Pewter Angels is by no means an autobiography, it feels impossible to separate the words within the story from the man who wrote them, which offers up to the reader a valuable study on human character both fictional and real.
Pewter Angels is a book that begs the reader to find a quiet uninterrupted spot in which to curl up and read. This book causes readers to want a solitude that can better allow them to take a step back in time into the world of Henry and Jenny, their simpler time, and all the good and the bad that is has to offer. More importantly, it gives the reader a chance to fully unplug and unwind from the hectic goings on of this much more chaotic world in which we live, to better immerse themselves in the story.
The world we live in goes far too fast. Reading Pewter Angels helps slow you down while teaching that the values of a bygone era can still hold true today. All you need is a little patience and faith.
“Take one day at a time. Live fully in the present and a happy future will be in store for you.” – Mr. Engelmann.
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