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November, 1997 - Page 2

Book review : "Angel Country -- Angelic Encounters : True Stories from Maine" by Ria Biley

Angelis Press, 157502067x, $9.95
review by Kathryn Lively

Is it not comforting to know that wherever you go--be it hiking along the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains or simply driving to the corner supermarket for a loaf of bread, that somebody is watching after you, concerned for your well-being and prepared to help should you suddenly find yourself in danger? Is it not comforting to believe in the existence of angels, ethereal or otherwise?

Ria Biley is certainly assured of angelic intervention, particular in her life and the lives of those in her resident state of Maine whose tales comprise the better part of the slim volume that is "Angel Country." Biley credits her "guardian angel" with once preventing her car from becoming entangled in a potentially fatal car accident almos ten years ago, and since then she has strived to share her belief in those charged by God to protect and guide His children. "Angel Country," now in its third printing, is testament of Biley's strong faith.

Accounts of angelic experiences in the state that brought us lobster dinners and Stephen King are categorized (after a lengthy introduction and collection of "angel quotes") by what is ordained in Biley's book as the "Five Degrees of Angelic Encounters," which range from Synchronicity (where God's Messengers arrange auspicious events that leave one wondering if they have experienced Divine intervention to Physical Manifestation (when Angels assume physical human form, a la Roma Downey and Della Reese in a certain CBS television series).

New-found and renewed faith in a loving, protective God are revealed in the stories of Karen Southworth, who was rescued from the twisted aftermath of an auto accident by a stranger who promptly disappeared when an ambulence arrived, and Dorothy Jordan, who heard a voice booming inside her own car which demanded she slow dowm to a crawl, thus preventing her from striking two children playing in the street ahead of her. Each testimonial is straightforward, each message is clear--Maine has more than her share of believers.

For anyone who adamantly believes in the power of God and His helpers, or at least continues to have faith that acts of kindness are possible in a world overrun by violence and turmoil, "Angel Country" offers an outlet of that faith and offers the theory that perhaps there is indeed a benefit to prayer. One need not look to Maine to find angels, but as Biley believes, it is not a bad place to start.

"Angel Country" is available from the author at her website,

Copyright 1997 Kathryn Lively
Kathryn Lively --

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