Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
Agnes’ Gift: A Heartwarming Story About the Power of the Rosary, by Kristelle Angelli, centers upon Jenna, a teenage girl facing the loss of her elderly friend Agnes, and dealing with the loss of her brother Justin, who ran away after becoming a drug addict. Jenna’s parents are divorced. It is Christmas Eve. Jenna feels a certain emptiness about the holiday after losing her friend Agnes, who died only recently. Jenna’s guardian angel appears to her and takes her on a journey through the Mysteries of the Rosary—the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. Jenna learns how to relate the events of the Mysteries to her own life and her own situation, even as she contemplates the loss of her brother, and her worry: will she ever see Justin again? Can there be a Christmas miracle? Jenna’s guardian angel narrates each of the Mysteries for Jenna as she is in a “You Are There” moment through each individual Mystery as it relates to the life of Jesus Christ.
Agnes’ Gift: A Heartwarming Story About the Power of the Rosary straddles the fence between being a work of Christian fiction and a non-fictional meditative devotional aid. People who are devoted to the recitation of the Rosary, especially Catholics, will enjoy witnessing Jenna’s personal miracle unfold as she moves from being an apathetic non-churchgoer to being alive for Christ through the sacraments, as the first disciples were when the Holy Spirit came down on them at Pentecost. This story was extremely well-written—few grammatical errors—and it is “complete”, that is, it presents a number of problems, works through them as the story progresses, and resolves them by the conclusion of the story. That is the mark of excellent writing.