Televenge is a jammed, packed novel that is very hard to put down. It is a book full of all the things you think might be going on in the huge Evangelical Prosperity Churches and then some. Pamela Cable repeats that the book is fiction in various places and yet she writes about what she knows and her 17 years of being a support ministry wife.
We have several of these huge mega churches in our community and they truly do attempt to control the community and their member’s lives and activities. I do not think that our local brands have been involved with murder, but I do know several people whose lives have been ruined by their attacks and pressures. We have had several sexual scandals over the years which have been very well publicized.
I liked how Cable talked about the secrecy issues in the book and how fear is driven home repeatedly to make the points sticky and bound. The arranged marriages and young marriages that are encouraged that do not allow for full growth potential of the individuals and sponsor dependency always with the expectation that if they just keep mortgaging their house and attending church they will be rich also.
This book is set in North Carolina, and I recognize many of the places mentioned and about the huge Crusade organizations in the south. I know about the old family traditions and strong holds; especially how life is running by the rules and one does not even think to question. The author makes a huge distinction between Evangelical churches and Pentecostal Holiness churches and in my work as a social worker in that region I would not make a huge difference between those brands, rather I would say it all depends on the motivations of the leadership and the power brokers. Even the small storefront churches filled with “joy” were still based on a great deal of control and fear; I found some of the mainstream churches to be extremely conservative and controlling of people’s lives also. I believe the greatest difference I found was that some of the folks were getting “high” on religion and some were addicted to fear.
There is a whole lot of Bible quoting going on! It is truly an art form in this novel. Some of the quotes and quips gave me a deep, refreshing belly laugh. Televenge contains it all.
Everyone I think would find something to take away from this read – even as a work of fiction. I was wondering why folks who believe this extremely conservative programming would think it important to elect these members to public office, unless they wanted even more power and control. Televenge made me wonder why two such fundamentalist, Biblically rooted folks are the head of the science committee in Congress; they apparently want to remove science from the community and government. We have all witnessed how devastating a person who believes in the Rapture can be to a country when they are in the highest office of all.
I think there are lots of folks who do not even think about these churches – ministries and how they might be affecting individual lives and futures. It is definitely a suspense thriller and a good read.
Oh yes! It still has a lot of southern charm and almost too much romance novel for my tastes, but I know lots of people who love this sort of juicy read, a peek into other’s lives, and power brokerage.
I am sure you know someone who likes to bury themselves into a good revealing read on a cold winter’s night and I assure you Televenge will not disappoint.
Do you like books that really dish? Do you like a good romance novel with southern charm? How about suspense, murder mysteries and brainwashing? What is your favorite book in this genre?