My great love for reading and curiosity overcame my initial response to this book as I thought it was Christian fiction which is not really my thing…but it isn’t Christian fiction at all and although there are plenty of quotes from the Bible, they are used as part of the dialogue and not in a preachy way. I can deal with that.
While I personally cannot quote the Bible chapter and verse (shocking, I know), it is believable that these characters can and do. After all, the book is set in the 1970s Bible belt (North Carolina) and Andie, a beautiful (barely out of high school) Christian woman, has married the love of her young life, Joe Oliver. She quickly learns that he is in the thrall of his pastor, a mad TV evangelist (Reverend Calvin Artury) and the effect on their lives is all-encompassing, violent, and destructive.
The story has unpredictable plot twists and was a peek into a world I could little imagine. I found myself sighing in exasperation at young Andie’s lack of awareness and bad decisions. As she matures, her character and resolve strengthen and I cheered as she fought the over-reaching (read crazy) ministry for her freedom and family. She loses her best friend, a parent, her children, her home and reputation, and, finally, that horrid husband. I was compelled to finish this in a weekend – ask my family, I read it on the iPad and no one else could use it.
Possible Spoiler Alert: I did feel that the end of the book tied things up rather too neatly and nicely, not that I thought this character needed more suffering.
Interestingly, Pamela King Cable, was a member of a mega-church operated by a TV evangelist for twenty five years and drew on her experience for this novel. Here is some background info about the author:
During 25 years as a member of a mega-church, she witnessed a world encompassing both the sublime and the bizarre, as well as corruption and debauchery. From sex to money to telling you how many children you should have, how to dress, where to live, and what car you should buy, some pastors control their members from the boardroom to the bedroom. Pamela King Cable was victim to it all. She knew leaving her church and husband would create a nightmare, but she committed to also be true to herself. Her nightmare became her reality.
Cable began to study televangelism markets and the devastating effects of some mega-churches. She interviewed more than a hundred people who broke away from their church for many of the same reasons she did. Many of those who left also endured horrific personal trauma and ruin, feeling void of hope, of help, and of God. After years of research, she conceived the basis of her first novel, Televenge, which fictionally chronicles televangelism. Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the mega-church, and embraces those who discover unconditional love in a religious world fraught with fear and intimidation.
Cable also studied the Jonestown Guyana Tragedy, the Waco Massacre, and the Heaven’s Gate Genocide and found similar forms of manipulation existing in many mega-churches, particularly those whose pastors are also televangelists.
More about the Author:
Pamela King Cable was born a coal miner’s granddaughter and raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers. She is an award-winning, multi-published author who loves to write about religion and spirituality with paranormal twists she unearths from her family’s history. Married to a megachurch ministry team member as a young adult, she attended years of megachurch services. Pamela studied creative writing at The University of Akron and Kent State University. She has taught at many writing conferences, and speaks to book clubs, women’s groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country. Nearly a decade in the writing, Televenge is her debut novel. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Michael, and is currently working on her next novel.
Want to know even more?
Website – www.pamelakingcable.com
Twitter – @pamelakingcable
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/southernfriedwomen
I was not compensated for this post although I did receive an ebook from WOW! Women On Writing in order to review Televenge. Opinions are, as always, my own.