Book Review – A VISION OF ANGELS by Timothy Jay Smith

A Vision of Angels Synopsis

A Vision of Angels by Timothy Jay SmithA classic tragedy for a modern age…

A terrorist attack planned for Easter Sunday in Jerusalem sets off a chain of events that weave together the lives of an American journalist, Israeli war hero, Palestinian farmer, and Arab-Christian grocer.

Alerted to a suicide bomb plot, Major Jakov Levy orders the border with Gaza Strip closed. Unable to get his produce to market, Amin Mousa dumps truckloads of tomatoes in a refugee camp. David Kessler, an American journalist, sees it reported on television and goes to Gaza for Amin’s story.

Hamas militants plot to smuggle a bomb out in David’s car and retrieve it when he returns home, but he’s unexpectedly detoured on the way. Meanwhile, a cell member confesses to the plot, and the race is on to find David and retrieve the bomb before the terrorists can.

Ultimately A Vision of Angels is a story of reconciliation and hope, but not before events as tragic as a modern passion play change the lives of four families forever.

(Owl Canyon Press)

BOOK REVIEW by Tony Ziemek

I approached A Vision of Angels with positive expectations. It is set in Jerusalem, that most ancient, chipped crucible of religion and conflict, familiar from a lifetime of news bulletins to those of us lucky enough to be mere spectators.

Cultures and civilisations grind together in this part of world. Periodically, peace looks more promising and there are handshakes and smiling presidents and then it all just grinds on again with deaths, intransigence, fanatics and daily point scoring. Yet of course, people’s lives advance with the same basic concerns as everyone else but randomly punctuated by rocket attacks, suicide bombings and the security checks and curtailed freedoms that complicate journeys and simple errands.

Timothy Jay Smith brings some of these lives to our view with a multiple perspective that avoids polemic. There is a strong plot and many visual details that suggest familiarity with Israel. Atmospherically, the book is evocative, especially in observing smells of dust, crowded humanity and lemon groves.

SubscribeUnfortunately despite these good things I failed to engage with his characters. In spite of the intensity of the setting and the drama of their daily lives, I found the dialogue too mundane. Perhaps that is deliberate to evoke the ordinary and seek common ground with readers, but I made five attempts to finish the book and always came to grief every time the characters started talking.

Maybe that’s just me though, as Timothy Jay Smith has many admirers. If you too are intrigued at the book’s premise, give it a go and please tell me if you think I’m wrong.


~ Tony Ziemek is the lead editor of Ed Fresh Editorial Services.

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BOOK DETAILS: A Vision of Angels by Timothy Jay Smith ( BooktopiaAmazon | B&N )

Genre: Historical

Author Information: Check out Timothy Jay Smith’s website

Other reviews of A Vision of AngelsCate’s Book Nut Hut; Examiner; Dolce Bellezza