By Denise Alicea
File Size: 105 KB
Print Length: 22 Pages
Publisher: DCL Publications, LLC
Publication Date: November 21, 2011
Mira did not know what she had in store the day she fell asleep while wanting to escape her
current situation. Overcoming the death of someone close and burying herself in school and an
internship has kept her somewhat awake and alive. An admiration for the actor James Dean was
all that kept the memory of her father alive. If she couldn’t be with her father, she could at least
remember what they shared. She always wanted to meet James Dean. Be careful what you wish
for. It may just come true.
About the Author:
Born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Connecticut, she found that she was more interested
in what went on in the past, than in the future. Denise always enjoys reading a variety of book
genres such as ancient history, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, and romance. She has a great
respect for the arts, her first love being drawing and painting. Writing is a medium that would
inspire her to share the ongoing stories in her head.
For more information about the author go to: http://denisealicea.com
Consoling Angel is a charming short story which transports readers back in time for a brief
paranormal encounter with 50s teen icon James Dean. The story is reminiscent of the popular
90s romantic comedy movie Peggy Sue Got Married, where, overwhelmed by the difficulties
surrounding her life, Peggy is transported to a happier time in her life—high school during the
50s. In Consoling Angel, our protagonist, Mira, is still coming to terms with her own lifechanging
circumstances—the death of her father.
Teenage Mira’s intense interest in James Dean stems from her own father’s (also named James)
fascination the legendary movie star. Together they would sit and enjoy Dean’s movies as
symbols of a more nostalgic, carefree time. Between school, homework and a museum
internship, Mira is juggling a lot of responsibilities, all the while continuing to grieve her father’s
passing from cancer several years before.
Exhausted and overwhelmed by life, Mira falls into a deep sleep after school one day and wakes
to find herself catapulted from 2008 back to 1953. Her transition is smoother than most readers
would expect, but that is generally the nature of short stories. We are reading the truncated
version of what could be a larger concept. This abbreviated version of a complex subject doesn’t
distract from the enjoyment of the story. If anything, the shortened timeline should leave readers
wanting more from this encounter.
Joining Mira on this blast to the past is her good friend Audrey, who apparently has no idea of
the time warp they’re sharing. Mira is the only character experiencing this temporal anomaly and
Audrey is instrumental in helping to stabilize and acclimate Mira to her new surroundings for her
next important encounter.
Like all good teens of the 50s era, Mira and Audrey find themselves at the local soda fountain
where Mira, for the first time she can remember since her father’s death, is happy and feeling
present in the moment. When Audrey suggests it’s time to leave partly because of inclement
weather and the looming dinner hour, Mira insists on staying behind to soak in the experience.
Now on her own, Mira comes face-to-face with the film hero she and her father mutually adored.
The connection between Mira and James Dean is touching and cathartic. Has she actually
travelled back in time or is this dream a metaphorical desire to reconnect with her father? Can or
should Mira alter the timeline by warning Dean of his fatal accident? Could saving Dean cause a
different outcome for her own existence or, more important, her father’s?
Mira’s connection with Dean, however brief, is deep and profound—a soul mate association of
sorts. When Dean hugs her, Mira’s thoughts immediately remind her of her Dad and how much
she misses his warm embrace, but the feelings she has for this illusion is hardly familial.
Eventually Mira awakens to find herself returned to her bedroom in 2008. She has much to
process as she attempts to sort out fate from imagination, but a couple of interesting plot twists
make for an enjoyable conclusion to Alicea’s well-crafted short story.
Our primary criticism stems from the cover. The handsome young man doesn’t particularly
evoke thoughts of James Dean and we’re not sure about the symbolism of the railroad tracks in
the background. At its core, this book is less about James Dean and more about a fatherdaughter
bond forged through a common interest. So while we understand what the author was
going for, we think there might be a better way to represent the story’s fine message.
The author is a good storyteller with strong evocative writing skills. Consoling Angel is a
touching story built around a solid concept. This story has broad appeal for women of varying
age groups; young women may be drawn to the romantic elements, while older women might
gravitate more to the healing aspects between father and daughter. Either way we highly
recommend this story to women of all ages (15+) who’d enjoy a quick read with a meaningful
This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees
associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest,
unbiased book reviews.