Friday, March 19, 2010

Brilliant Disguises by William Thornton

William Thornton makes his fiction debut with this tale of a man who poses so well as a Christian that he fools everyone--everyone, that is, except for himself and the One he cannot escape. In the process, he seemingly works miracles but cannot satisfy the hunger inside himself to find out who he really is.

The protagonist, is Cameron Leon, a newly-hired worker for the Forster Foundation, a world-wide charitable organization led by a reclusive billionaire. To get the job, Cameron has to join a church. However, Cameron, still mourning the recent death of his brother Peter, decides he will only pretend to "get saved." In the process, he impersonates not only a Christian, but on occasion, his brother. Cameron continues to receive tearful phone calls from Peter's widow, Cecelia, who wants to hear her late husband's voice. Cameron, a born mimic like his brother, flawlessly impersonates him but feels the need for a personal kind of cleansing. Cameron discovers not only how many faces he has, but how many there are among the people around him. In the end, he finds he has been impersonating someone--or Someone--all along.

My Review:
Thank you to the author for providing my copy of this mystical novel.

Written in first person narrative from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Cameron, or Cam, is someone who pretends to be a dedicated Christian even though he does not believe in God; he does this in order to get a job. Cam goes through life striving to do good--or be good enough, but realizes that he falls short. He's a likeable character, who strives to please.

Cam is a quick study with the ability to mimic; he can easily imitate most anyone. One of the strangest things Cam is coerced into doing is to make phone calls to his brother, Peter's widow using Peter's voice. She insists she "needs" this.

The novel causes the reader to question why we pray as we do? Why attend church? Why commit good deeds? I must say that the second half of the novel is much better than the first half.

Discussion questions and additional material are included.

If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.

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