It is far from unusual to read a wonderfully inspiring novel by Angela Benson. Her books are never too preachy. Angela Benson's books are just about life's realities. UP POPS THE DEVIL is about a man named Preacher. Preacher has been serving time in prison. While in prison, his whole way of life went through a tremendous change. When he is released to go home, he is a Christian. I really adored this book because it is about making a good change in a really screwed up life. However, becoming a good person does not always equal immediate happiness and comfort. If anything, changing from a worldly person to a Godly person can make your whole life turn an ugly topsy turvy: old friends might not believe in you anymore, siblings might feel disappointed that you are no longer the person who takes dangerous risks. Old girlfriends might feel their new life is threatened by the past they shared with you. All sorts of dynamics can happen for the newly, changed person wanting to live on the good side of the law and never on the bad side again.
This is why I liked the book. Angela Benson does not write about life like it is a fairy tale. Life is not a simple game of Follow The Leader. Adults do not tend to slip behind you and follow your lead immediately. Preacher discovered life is more like playing a war game. In his life, there was sword play and dirty power playing with no signs of victory. He was like a soldier expecting to win the war fast and travel home to cheers of welcome and victory. Boy, was he fooled by the likes of Sean and The Boss.
Preacher became my favorite character. He is the guy trying to live the good life while his past keeps popping up and hitting him squarely in the head. All of the characters: Loretta, Tanya, Serena, Maylene, Natalie, Andre, Dante and Barnard are full blown, three dimensional characters who make this book more than exciting. No matter our faith or lack of faith, this book is for any person interested in relationships. I definitely can learn from Barnard's words to Preacher. "But don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from it. And remember it when something similar happens to someone else. Be better to them than I've been to you."