The Angelic Occurrence

6 June 2013

The Angelic Occurrence
by Henry Ripplinger,
Published by Pio-Seelos Publishing
Review by Gail Jansen-Kesslar
$21.95 ISBN 9 780991 710225

Experiencing an “angelic occurrence” may mean different things to different people, but to those fans following Henry Ripplinger’s Angelic Letter series who are eagerly awaiting the release of Book 4 in the six-part series, the angelic occurrence in this case could be the release of the book itself.

Released nearly a year after Book 3, Angel of Thanksgiving, The Angelic Occurrence continues to follow the relationship between Henry and Jenny whose paths have taken opposite turns. While books 1 through 3 of the series focused on the relationships that developed first between them as teenagers, and then between them and the other supporting characters, Book 4 looks to highlight a different sort of relationship :the relationship between what actions we take in our lives and the trickle down effect those actions have on not only our lives, but on the lives around us — the relationship between coincidence and serendipity.

How influenced are we by the actions of people we may never have met before? How connected are we with one another? And how do our own actions affect those around us? These are all questions Ripplinger answers boldly and dramatically when “Henry” of the novel experiences something that “Henry” the author experienced firsthand in his own life. It is an experience that so profoundly affected Ripplinger that he felt motivated to write about it, and he makes reference to it in the foreword of each of his three previous books. Here, finally is the reveal of the occurrence he refers to.

While to tell you what exactly that experience was would be too much of a spoiler for those who have yet to read the book, the message to be taken from it is simply to always be aware of the way your life may affect those around you – even those you may never have met.

As in the first three books of the Angelic Letters series, The Angelic Occurrence features a major recurring role for the shopkeeper-turned-priest known as Father Engelmann, who has long been Henry’s mentor and confidante. A father-figure for Henry from the time he was 15 years old, in The Angelic Occurrence, Father Engelmann continues to offer his common sense real-world advice wrapped in valuable lessons and Christian-based values to a much older and slightly wiser Henry, proving you’re never too old for good advice.

Despite its Christian bent however, neither the characters nor the book itself has a “preachy” feel to it, nor does it feel like it was intended solely for a Christian audience. Instead it is a book and a series intended for those who are looking for practical tools to help them learn how they can better deal with some of life’s toughest situations, woven into a narrative that makes those tools easy to digest.

Since the Angelic Letters series first began with the release of Pewter Angels in 2010, Henry Ripplinger’s books have achieved phenomenal success. All three previous books in the series have become Canadian Bestsellers that have won awards both for both “Best Fiction” and for “Most Inspirational Book.” It’s a tradition that is sure to continue with Book 4, The Angelic Occurrence.


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