Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brilliant Disguises *review*

Brilliant Disguises by William Thornton

-information from the press release

"With this stunning debut novel, William Thornton joins the ranks of the mystic Christian writers of the past, such as C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle. As a bonus, Brilliant Disguises is a great read, with enough plot twists to keep the reader up late, turning pages!"
                                                                      - Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife
William Thornton makes his fiction debut with BRILLIANT DISGUISES, the 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 from. In the process, he seemingly works miracles but cannot satisfy the hunger inside himself to find out who he really is.

Thornton's novel concerns the life of 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.

According to Thornton, BRILLIANT DISGUISES grew from a longing to see the inner life of a Christian in a fictional setting. But the only way to make such a familiar setting appear unfamiliar to Christian readers was to have the story told by someone posing as one. Thornton says, "Probably anyone who has attended an evangelical church, or any church for that matter, has a story of someone who volunteers for everything, is there for every service, has been a model of prayer and devotion for what seems like generations. It could be the Sunday School director or the lady who helps out in the kitchen or the organist. Then one Sunday, they come forward during the invitation and announce that they've never felt they were saved. I wondered how that could happen, and I figured it would help if we were dealing with a character who was a born mimic."

By turns comic and probing, dark and daring, BRILLIANT DISGUISES is about trying to hide behind the Light, and seeing things as they really are.


William Thornton is an award-winning writer who has been a newspaper reporter for the past 21 years. He teaches a Sunday School class and is a deacon in a Southern Baptist church. He also maintains a blog on Christian themes in religious fiction, non-fiction and popular culture. He lives in Alabama with his wife and daughter.

You can read the first chapter HERE


I found the premise of this book interesting because I think there is a lot of truth to it. The storyline was pretty good. It took me quite awhile to read the whole book because I wasn't fully absorbed in it but it was an ok read- fairly good for a debut novel.  Brilliant Disguises definitely had a great message and could probably stir up some excellent discussions in church :).

Thanks so much to William Thornton for sending me a copy of his book to review.

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