Angel Falls
by Kristin Hannah, contemporary (2000)
Crown, $23.00, ISBN 0-609-60592-5


Well, Angel Falls is definitely a woman's fiction. Not that I am anything against that, if it's well written. Unlike the by-the-book step-by-step exercise in clichés that was On Mystic Lake, Angel Falls have a very intriguing premise. Unfortunately, the whole story seems rushed. This is one book that sure could use another hundred pages or so to develop better a few crucial main characters. As it is, Angel Falls (lovely, multilayered title, isn't it?) in all its abrupt ending and all ends up a disappointing read.

Mikaela Campbell has a happy family and a loving hubby. But when she has a riding accident and falls into a coma, hubby Dr Liam Campbell discovers that his wife's true love and first husband Julian True. Julian is Mikaela's (Mike's) true love, and heck, it's his name and not hubby's that the comatose woman respond to.

Naturally, Liam is devastated. But since he loves her dearly enough to let her go, he brings Julian to their hometown of Last Bend in hope that maybe the man could bring Mike out of her coma.

With greater depths, Julian may turn out to be more than a whiny, coke-snorting male slut. With greater depths, Mike's attraction to him may make sense. As it is, these two characters are given so cursory a treatment when it comes to character that I am hard-pressed to see the fuss about their One Great Love actually is. Therefore, the final scene when Mike finally has to choose loses much of its drama and poignancy, because the choice is so obvious (to me, that is, if I'm her).

It is Liam whom I will root for. A nice, gentle man who has given up his grand dreams of music for a simple existence, he deserves so much better than this middling soap opera-style story. And the poor kids too. They really should make Mommy Mike do the housework for a year for putting them through this story.

Angel Falls make a nice could've-been fantasy, but what it actually is falls short of delivering.

Rating: 63


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