Published: June 8th 2012 by Big Planet Corporation
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
I believe in Angels and would love to sit down with one and play a game or two of Scrabble. I never learned to play chess, which is a shame. Especially if you believe what Florence reveals about the game during the telling of this story. “Angels play chess because they want to know what it is to be human.”
As she wrestles with her father’s sudden death and her mother’s bitterness, Florence begins to see life beyond her own needs. In her tenuous friendship with Max, she finds the courage to ask an even bigger question: is God real? Both Max and her mother are quick to provide their own answers to this deep question, but that’s not enough for Florence. She needs to discover the answer for herself, and that journey will test everything she’s ever thought to be true.
Written as diary entries, The Girl Who Played Chess With An Angel tells the story of Florence and her journey to determine if God is real. Though she’s already met an angel, she isn’t sure about God. Until she knows for sure she can’t bring herself to give his name a capital letter because, “Capitals are only given to things we know are true. Fact. Actual things that exist. People. Places….I’m not sure I can use a capital.”
It’s also about the relationship between mother and daughter and how secrets place wedges between people. It’s about anger and its side effects. It’s about love and betrayal. It’s about the difference between religion and God. It’s about mistakes and forgiveness.
I truly enjoyed this story. I loved how it unfolded like a flower blooming, each piece of information opening to the light one petal at a time. Florence is a superb narrator and her voice added heart to the story. Maybe I’m slow, but one of the revelations at the end surprised me. In hindsight, the clues were there which made me love the story even more.
This is a quick read and I recommend it to anyone, though those who struggle with faith will benefit more than others.