4 out of 4 stars
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When Angels Play Poker by Maura O’Leary is a sweet, feel-good fiction book. This story follows a sixty-four year old con-artist named Jimmy. After dying of a heart attack, he unexpectedly finds himself in heaven. Jimmy is given the task of watching over his brother’s girlfriend, Maura. He soon learns things about himself and his brother, and since watching someone’s life 24/7 can get a little boring, Jimmy also plays poker in heaven in his spare time!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. The depiction of heaven in this book is probably not your typical idea of heaven, which is what adds a little bit of uniqueness and fun to this novel. Angels are even allowed to play poker, but of course not for real money. Jimmy, the main character, is likable and also realistically written. His entrance into heaven is not sugar-coated and his personality is kept intact even after becoming an angel. Maura, the woman who is watched over by Jimmy, is a sweet yet strong woman who even after having to suffer through a hard life, never let life get her down and unbeknownst to her, has a lot of angels looking out for her.
The plot of this book is simple and written in just 112 pages, which makes it a very short read. Since it is such a short read, the details offered about the background of each character were limited. There also was not much information about the workings of heaven. Surprisingly, the lack of specifics did not make reading this book any less enjoyable because it focuses on one moment in time in Maura’s life, so all the vital information is provided. I am not sure if the author has a sequel planned, but the story does end on a little cliffhanger. Nevertheless, I appreciated that the ending was unforeseen yet still practical.
One fascinating addition to this book was the couple of pages at the end where the author wrote a few words about what gave her the idea to write this story. While at a spa in Vegas, ten years ago, Maura O’Leary met a woman who claimed the author was an earth angel. After telling her friends about the encounter, she received a subscription to Angels on Earth for Christmas and then five years later, she started writing this book. It is funny how random moments can inspire us and turn our lives in another direction.
To conclude, When Angels Play Poker by Maura O’Leary is a sweet, inspirational read that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. There were a few grammatical errors, but not enough to bother me so I did not let it affect my rating. Therefore, it is no surprise that I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this short read to anyone looking for a story to brighten their day, especially in today’s world because we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives.
When Angels Play Poker
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