I have always loved mysteries and fiction, this one is worth the love. Illusion is one such book which will keep you engaged throughout the read. It is the first book that I have read of Frank Peretti, and I know I will be going for more. Most captivating thing about this book was, you are never sure what’s going to happen next. With so many twists and turns, taking on different genres and then mixing them all together in a single book, it’s not an easy task. But, Peretti has done it so beautifully in this book. This book is put in the genre of christian fiction, but it can easily be tagged into teen fiction, romance, science, religion and thriller, all at the same time.
The book tells the story of Dane and Mandy, the sixty year old magician couple, deeply in love with each other. After a long companionship of forty years, Dane was suddenly left devastated when Mandy die in a car crash. His world is torn apart and he decides to leave everything and go back to the place where he first met her, at her hometown. But, was Mandy really dead?
She doesn’t agree with this.
Sitting under a tree in a hospital gown a twenty year old Mandy was wondering what era is this? How does she suddenly woke up in 2010, when all she did was sleep under a tree in 1970s. Uncanny.
My typical mind, brainwashed with so many ghost and rebirth stories, quickly thought that this could be old Mandy’s soul which has captured a young girl and entered into her body. Gosh! My imagination. No, this is not the case. It becomes clear when I read it further. New Mandy met Dane while demonstrating some street magic. Yes, magic. New Mandy can also do magic. One common factor. But big disappointment for me when both Dane and New Mandy couldn’t recognize each other. So, how can she be a rebirth? No, she is no rebirth. She didn’t even have a memory loss. She remembers everything from the dress she was wearing to the name of street she lived.
Story unfolds some more. New Mandy can do weird stuff. I can’t call it magic if you can levitate yourself without any string attached, kinda like Criss Angel. She can put life to any static object like a ball, coffee in cup, mike and even a pencil to poke you. How did she get those superpowers? That is actually the main secret behind her story. Coming to Dane, poor widower, coping with his wife’s death, has new challenges to face in his life. He has met a girl who looks a lot like her Mandy, only she is not. She is a kid, so younger, stupid, and always seems to be in danger. However hard he is trying to stay away from that girl, he is getting more and more entangled in her life. My next thought was that she could be a daughter of old Mandy, which Dane is not aware of. Too filmy! I know.
No, this is also not the case, as both of them feel romantically for each other. But, she is not Mandy. Book shows a different and mature approach to teenage crush which Mandy has for Dane. Only, Dane could not reciprocate the same to her, she being a lot younger than him. This aspect is dealt beautifully in the book, never getting weird.
Approaching end, everything is answered patiently. With the big secret out (no, I am not telling you that), both Dane and Mandy’s life comes to a point of losing each other once again. Till the last page, I was hoping for a miracle. Hoping for balance of universe, for love, for eternal love of Dane and Mandy.
What appealed to me other than the story was the last note of author, Frank Peretti. When he says that this story is not only a science fiction or a love story, this one is also about finding yourself. To find out, Who you are, What are you here for? Doing, what you need to do? What you actually want from life? And, what do you believe in? Ultimately, accepting your beliefs and give yourself to that higher power.
Blessed are those who are being Loved.