It begins with a 3:00 a.m. telephone call. On one end is Terry Bachelder, a closeted teacher. On the other, the suicidal teenage son of the local preacher. When Terry fails to prevent disaster, grief rips the small town of Crystal Falls apart.
At the epicenter of the tragedy, seventeen-year-old Jonah Riverside tries to make sense of it all. Finding Daniel’s body leaves him struggling to balance his sexual identity with his faith, while his church, led by the Reverend Isaac Thompson, mounts a crusade to destroy Terry, whom Isaac believes corrupted his son and caused the boy to take his own life.
Having quietly crushed on his teacher for years, Jonah is determined to clear Terry’s name. That quest leads him to Eric Jacobs, Daniel’s true secret lover, and to get involved in Eric’s plan to shake up their small-minded town. Meanwhile, Rev. Thompson struggles to make peace between his religious convictions and the revelation of his son's homosexuality. If he can’t, he leaves the door open to eternal damnationand for a second tragedy to follow.
First Edition published by Itineris Press, August 2012.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just finished reading "By That Sin Fell the Angels." I've only gotten out of bed one other time after reading a book to write the author. Both times, it's been because what I read effected me so much I had to get up and say something right then and there. This is the second time it's happened. . So much of the characters, the setting, and the emotions are ones I know people close to me have gone through. So much, on all sides, is what life has been like for people that I know, that I love. And those who are making snap judgements on situations without really knowing, talking to, or understanding what is happening, they're there too and I recognize them. They exist, they are reality. What a wild ride. What an emotional roller coaster that still has me wondering if I really stayed on for the whole thing. And yes, I laid down, expecting to read a few pages before sleeping and ended up not stopping until the very end. Then I laid there, letting the emotion wash over me, letting the echos of the entire thing burrow deep into me. Very seldom does a book shake me to the core, grab me by the heart, and wring the very life out of me. "By That Sin Fell the Angels" did it. In spades. With tissues and tears. This, honestly, should be required reading for everyone who even thought about condemning someone, ever thought about questioning their faith, their sexuality, or their love of someone. Every teen should read it, not because they're gay, but because it's gritty, it's reality, it's the kid sitting next to them in class, the teacher down the hall, the parents of the kid three doors down. In the end, it's all about love. And you nailed it, Jamie, nailed it like no one else. Oh wow.