About Televenge (2012)
Andie Oliver is a faithful woman–to God, to her handsome husband Joe, and to televangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men.Raised in the 1970′s to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South, 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 by the ministry team. Joe had been a gentle lover, a kind man, and a hard-working and faithful husband. Only lately had Andie felt him turn his attention more to church than her.The charismatic Reverend conducts faith-healing crusades, creating the largest religious television audience in the world, surpassing the income and followers of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham. Working limitless hours, Joe is sucked deeper into the ministry while Andie attempts to free him from the ReverendÆs control and far-reaching influence.But it is Mavis Dumass, Andie’s best friend since birth, a sassy, gorgeous African-American woman and aspiring recording star, who holds the secrets to Reverend Artury’s carefully veiled debauchery. Mavis is fiercely protective of Andie (and just as fiercely disdainful of both Joe and Reverend Artury). What happens to Mavis 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, she plummets from a dreadful existence into a horrific one as she uncovers Reverend Artury’s long-hidden truths, and loses everything, including her children. But she strikes back, threatening to expose the Reverend to the world.Raised by two psychopathic aunts, Reverend Artury reverts to the twisted cleansings of his childhood. As his mental stability declines, Andie quickly realizes she must go into hiding. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of evil personified. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the darkest side of televangelism.Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover their destiny in unconditional love in a world fraught with fear and intimidation. With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge takes you from the Piedmont South to the Hawaiian Islands, to Nigeria, Africa, and back to the high country of North Carolina.In pitch-perfect voices, Pamela King Cable’s emotionally rich debut novel creates four extraordinary characters who will stay with the reader long after they finish the book. Suspensful and deeply moving, Televenge will be one of the most talked about books of the year.
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Cable’s epic story focuses on Andie Rose Oliver who marries her husband Joe in her late teens and dreams of family and a continued devotion to God. However, Andie’s life and faith are shattered by the rise of Reverend Calvin Artury, the ruler of an extreme group of holy men that threaten to destroy everything Andie holds dear. Struggling for money, her husband begins volunteering to work for Artury in the hope of landing full-time hours down the line. Over time Joe changes, influenced by Artury and suddenly Andie’s marriage is on the rocks with some family and friends there for support, while others are under the spell of Artury and his evangelical church – The House of Praise.
The novel covers around thirty years, beginning in the early seventies and concluding at the start of the twenty-first century. Cable gives us first person perspectives from a handful of characters including Andie, Artury and Andie’s best friend, Mavis, who tries to protect her friend. Artury has a keen interest in Joe and Andie and wants to keep them loyal to his church but Andie grows resentful of being second in priority behind Artury. She wants a family but this causes friction when Artury beseeches Joe not to have children, something Andie’s husband is more than happy to agree to. To his closest followers, Artury can do no wrong but is he as innocent as he seems?
Televenge traces Artury and Joe’s appalling treatment of Andie over many years. Though she believes in god, her questioning of authority sees her frowned upon by many and pushed to the boundaries of acceptance. She has a good friend in Mavis who fights for her every step of the way. When Artury is revealed to be a purveyor of many forms of corruption there isn’t a straightforward way of dealing with him. Andie and those she loves soon learn that the Reverend, when provoked, is a very dangerous man who will stop at nothing to continue his work for God. Murder, intrigue, romance, corruption, broken families, it’s all here and though you’ll feel exhausted from Andie’s journey it is a rewarding one when she decides to fight back. My only issue with the book is that things do seem to resolve themselves quickly for Andie in the end which was a bit too easy and disappointing. However, to be fair, after everything Artury and Joe put her through I was relieved when some good things started to happen to Andie.
Televenge is a well-written, gripping and addictive story. This isn’t an attack on religion but on individuals that abuse the power they have and manipulate others into their way of thinking. While Joe follows Artury throughout the world, Andie dares to stand firm and defy him and she pays many heavy prices along the way. Often gritty and emotional, Televenge is well worth reading.
(Book source: reviewer received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review)
Women On Writing and Pamela King Cable have kindly agreed to give away a copy of Televenge! One winner will receive a copy in either paperback format (available for US/Canada addresses) or e-format (available worldwide).
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