The Trial of Fallen Angels

The Trial of Fallen Angels

3.0 11
by James Kimmel Jr.
     
 

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For fans of The Shack, Mitch Albom, and The Lovely Bones, comes a novel about a lawyer of souls in the afterlife.

Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As

Overview

For fans of The Shack, Mitch Albom, and The Lovely Bones, comes a novel about a lawyer of souls in the afterlife.

Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment.

As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate. That seemingly disparate events during her life have conspired to bring her to a single moment in time that will determine her eternity. And that every act of kindness and cruelty sets in motion things beyond our wildest imaginations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A murder mystery becomes a lesson in forgiveness in this overblown spiritual tale by debut novelist Kimmel, who envisions a bureaucratic afterlife called Shemaya in which recently deceased Brek Cuttler, a lawyer on earth, is drafted “to make sure justice is served at the Final Judgment.” This involves Brek channeling her clients’ entire lives and presenting them in a celestial courtroom, first a surly, Nazi-obsessed mystery man, then a woman Brek once sued on Earth, neither of whom had any obvious impact on Brek’s life with her husband and their young daughter. As Brek absorbs experiences and navigates Shemaya’s courtrooms, she comes to terms with her own death and with what seems the unfair judicial process of heaven. Though a cluttered plot is eventually woven neatly together, any sense of suspense or momentum is stalled by bouts of weighty philosophizing, and any interest in resolution is deadened by the unrelated tangents. Kimmel (Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life’s Conflicts), a lawyer, is a deep thinker whose intelligence shines through, but his first foray into fiction fails as both a theological treatise and a page-turner. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME Entertainment. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"In a world seething with anger in search of so-called justice, James Kimmel, Jr., spins a heartbreaking story that delivers a rebuke with courage, intelligence, and elegant prose."--- -Bryan Gruley, author of The Skeleton Box

"In his first novel, Kimmel has created a thrilling and fantastic world, a heady combination of the movie What Dreams May Come, John Grisham's best work, and Dante's Divine Comedy. Sometimes dreamily lyrical and sometimes harshly realistic, Kimmel's authorial voice is undeniably compelling. Raw, tender, and intelligent, The Trial of Fallen Angels is a fascinating glimpse into the judgment of lost souls and recovered memories." -Booklist (starred review)

"Kimmel pays readers a supreme compliment here by inviting them to take seriously the theological question of the Last Judgment.... An intriguing, intricate ,and metaphysical novel-not your typical fare." -Kirkus Reviews

"This powerful debut from lawyer Kimmel ... explores a myriad of spiritual concepts expressed in various religions. He deftly unveils each new charactyer and cleverly balances the positive and negative aspects of their lives. Building upon the memories of multiple generations, Kimmel has written a storring spiritual thriller" -Library Journal

Library Journal
From the time she was a little girl holding mock court sessions with other neighborhood children, Brek Abigail Cuttler was destined for the law. As an adult, her life is good. She's become a successful lawyer, new mother, and loving wife to a TV news anchorman. But suddenly she is sitting at a train terminal covered in blood and cannot recall what happened. Approached by a seemingly familiar older gentleman, Brek finds out she has died. Before she can fully move on, she has been assigned to represent other souls waiting for judgment. With each case, Brek finds connections to her own past life that will reveal the final choice she must make. VERDICT This powerful debut from lawyer Kimmel (Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life's Conflicts) explores a myriad of spiritual concepts expressed in various religions. He deftly unveils each new character and cleverly balances the positive and negative aspects of their lives. Building upon the memories of multiple generations, Kimmel has written a stirring spiritual thriller. [See Prepub Alert, 5/4/12.]—Joy Gunn, Henderson Libs., NV
Kirkus Reviews
Kimmel pays readers a supreme compliment here by inviting them to take seriously the theological question of the Last Judgment. Lawyer Brek Cuttler wakes up one day to find herself in Shemaya, the land of the dead, where she's not only been called to account, but has been chosen to put her post-mortem legal skills to work. The circumstances of her death are hazy, even to her, but as the story unfolds, some dense and troubling images, as well as some kind and soothing ones from her past, assault her. She aches at the loss of her husband, Bo, a television reporter who's recently been doing undercover work and has infiltrated a white supremacist organization, and she grieves her separation from her one-year-old daughter, Sarah. Kimmel's narrative weaves together four generations of Brek's family both in life and in death. She also finds out that in Shemaya, she is able to inhabit the consciousness of other people, so she feels their lives subjectively, from the inside. Particularly troubling is her inner experience of Ott Bowles, a young white supremacist who kidnapped Brek and her daughter, an event that, it turns out, led to her death. Along the way, we have extended discussions about issues of justice, mercy and most of all, forgiveness. We learn, for example, that Noah's Flood "changed...the very essence of God's relationship to man, not man's relationship to God. God changed His ways. We didn't change ours." Much of this theological and moral framework is provided by Luas, the High Jurisconsult of Shemaya and mentor of Brek in these shadow lands. Although occasionally overly discursive, Kimmel presents here an intriguing, intricate and metaphysical novel--not your typical fare.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399159695
Publisher:
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication date:
11/08/2012
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Stephanie Turza
As a successful lawyer with a loving husband and a beautiful baby girl, Brek Cuttler believes she’s made the best possible decisions in life. After finding herself on a train platform in her favorite suit, with fresh bullet wounds and only the vaguest understanding of how she arrived, she starts talking to an elderly gentleman who manages to look like all of the trusted male figures she’s ever known. She learns that the train station is Shemaya Station, a Purgatory-like space where souls await their final judgment. Upon being chosen to join the elite team of lawyers tasked with prosecuting and defending these lost souls, Brek learns that some long-forgotten pieces of her past, combined with the technicalities she prided herself on uncovering for her clients, hold the clue to her own salvation. In his first novel, Kimmel has created a thrilling and fantastic world, a heady combination of the movie What Dreams May Come, John Grisham’s best work, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Sometimes dreamily lyrical and sometimes harshly realistic, Kimmel’s authorial voice is undeniably compelling. Raw, tender, and intelligent, The Trial of Fallen Angels is a fascinating glimpse into the judgment of lost souls and recovered memories. — Stephanie Turza
From the Publisher
"This powerful debut from lawyer Kimmel ... explores a myriad of spiritual concepts expressed in various religions. He deftly unveils each new charactyer and cleverly balances the positive and negative aspects of their lives. Building upon the memories of multiple generations, Kimmel has written a storring spiritual thriller" —Library Journal

Meet the Author

James Kimmel, Jr., received a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Pennsylvania and is a lawyer who focuses on the intersection of law and spirituality. This is his first novel.

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The Trial of Fallen Angels 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. I look at my life differently after reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book incredibly interesting, very unique. I can understand how someone might have a difficult time following this story. I had a difficult time explaining it to a friend. Ultimately, the overall "moral" to the story is unmistakeable and it will have you thinking for days. I enjoyed the story telling, like nothing I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really liked this book. It made me think about how you really don't know about people's lives before judging them. I see a comment about violence. I don't think the author went out of his way to be violent. It surely was not graphic, and just went along with telling the story. Which was important.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was very good. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter, though at times it was just to figure out what the previous chapter had to do with anything. It was put together well in the end and it certainly gives one a new perspective on the way we interact with those around us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable and thought provoking. I did not have a problem following story like others reported. And yes you will think about this book long after you read it. A wonderful lesson in forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I also look at life differently after reading this book. Very thought provoking, as  I have continued to think about this book long after reading.  I would have given 5 stars, but I was a little confused about the end.  
HuntersMom More than 1 year ago
Publishers weekly review is correct - cluttered plot, overblown..... I found this  difficult to wade through.  Could not wait to finish reading this, and not in a good way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The subject and plot for this story was extremely unique. I'd like to give it 3-1/2 stars. With so many characters and their interwoven lives, it could be difficult to follow at times, but the over-arching message was thought-provoking. This was some heady material, but worth the read if you are willing to invest the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel was previously published as "Forgiving Ararat" by Gita Nazareth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very violent and graphic and in my opinion unnecessary. Not worth reading and not sure why it was written.