About the Book:
Paperback: 584 pages
Publisher: Satya House Publications (October 5, 2012)
Andie Oliver is a faithful woman—to God, to husband Joe, and to elevangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men.
Raised to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South of the 70’s, she becomes a prisoner of that tradition. As a reluctant member of Artury’s evangelical megachurch, the House of Praise in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Andie’s dream of children, home, and marriage falls apart when Joe is hired on the ministry team.
The charismatic Reverend conducts faith-healing crusades, creating the largest religious TV audience in the world, surpassing the income and followers of Oral Roberts and the Reverend Billy Graham combined. Working limitless hours, Joe is sucked deeper into the ministry while Andie attempts to free him from the Reverend’s control and far-reaching influence.
But it is Mavis Dumass, Andie’s best friend since birth, a sassy African-American woman and aspiring recording star, who holds the secrets to Reverend Artury’s carefully veiled debauchery. What happens to Mavis will not be forgotten as it leaves Andie near mental collapse and struggling for freedom from the cult’s grip.
Andie is still unaware of the extreme danger their pastor wields until she witnesses the murder of a church member. Fearing for her life, Andie plummets from a dreadful existence to a horrific one as she uncovers Reverend Artury’s long-hidden truths, and loses everything. But she strikes back, threatening to expose the Reverend to the world.
Reverend Artury reverts to the twisted “cleansings” of his childhood. Raised by two psychopathic aunts, he mentally declines and quickly, Andie must go into hiding. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of sin, and shakes the Christian evangelical world to its core. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the dark side of televangelism, forever changing a nation of evangelicals.
With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover unconditional love in a world of religious deception. A story of hope, of deliverance, and strength of the human spirit. An unforgettable tale of unconditional love, heartbreaking loss, an invincible spirit, and incredible courage.
About the Author:
Pamela is the author of the highly acclaimed collection of short stories, Southern Fried Women. Born a coal miner’s granddaughter and raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers, Pamela is an award-winning, multi-published author who loves to write about religion and spirituality with mystical twists she unearths from her family’s history. As a young adult she was married to a megachurch ministry team member and attended years of megachurch services. She has taught at many writing conferences, and speaks to book clubs, women’s groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country. More than a decade in the writing, Televenge is her debut novel. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Michael, and is working on her next novel.
Find out more about Televenge on the author’s website or the book’s Facebook page.
Televenge takes the reader into the world of the mega-church. Not the nice, comfortable church around the corner but the 10,000 seat stadium kind of church. The kind led by charismatic leaders asking for money to "do God's work here on Earth." It is also a story about a fear; fear of God, fear of a pastor and fear of going to hell. It's a story about the manipulation of people and the use of that fear to keep the church growing and the congregation in line. It's also a love story.
That is a lot of substance for one book and Televenge packs it all in and more. It does a really good job of it too! It kept me tapping my e-reader to keep the pages turning and despite its 584 page length I read it in a day and a half. The writing and the story just pulls you in and doesn't let you go.
Andie is a woman reared with a strong faith in God and she falls in love with Joe Oliver whose family are ardent members of the House of Praise run by Calvin Artury. They believe Reverend Calvin is the only way they will find heaven when the Rapture comes. Despite some family objections Andie marries Joe right out of high school and dreams of a white picket fence and children. What she gets is a trailer park and Joe suddenly deciding - by Calvin's instruction - that there will be no kids. What follows is a twisty, turny very involved and heart rending tale of the control that one man can hold over people both simple and complicated.
Calvin uses people to reach his goals, and he will reach them no matter what and no one is going to stop him. If anyone dares to try he has judges in his pocket and loyalists that will kill for him. No one can say a word against him. Andie manages to have children and when Calvin arranges for Joe to get custody she reaches the end of her rope and that's when she makes a life altering decision.
Ms. Cable develops her plot slowly and surely so that you don't see the twists coming and many of them managed to catch me completely off guard. A couple I saw coming but many of them almost knocked me off of my chair. The characters were all very well defined and except for Calvin and a few ancillary church members they were a solid mix of good and bad. It really was difficult to put the book down! I did feel that it probably could have been a touch shorter and it wouldn't have hurt the overall book as the Job-ish section of Andi's fall into despair went on for seemingly forEVER. I was beginning to wonder if ANYTHING good would ever happen to the poor girl.
Overall, though a fantastic read with a look into a world about which I knew absolutely nothing.
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Disclosure: I received an e-copy of Televenge gratis from TLC Book Tours for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.