on May 29, 2009
Since the first wave of angel interest swept through our country in the early `90's, an estimated 250 books about them have been published. Some have concentrated on the spiritual aspects of angels, while others feature communicating with one's angel or angels in certain historical periods. Not every publication fits what the Bible teaches us about these heavenly beings, so it's important to use discernment when choosing what to read.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by Doubleday Publishers to review the newest of the angel books, titled "Angels in My Hair," by Lorna Byrne, a mystic who lives near Dublin, Ireland, and was coming to the United States to do a book tour. When I heard that the book is already a bestseller in the United Kingdom and will eventually be available in over 40 countries, I couldn't turn down the request. And I'm so glad I had the pleasure of both the book and a lovely conversation with Lorna herself. Once again it proves my own belief that angels are involved on earth in many areas today, and with many different people.
Lorna was born into a poverty-stricken Irish family, and when she was two years old, her parents decided that she was mentally retarded, and would not benefit from formal education. Actually, Lorna was "different," but her apparent inattention was caused by her ability to see angels all around her, almost all the time. Like any young child, she originally assumed that everyone was able to see into this glorious world, but as she grew, she realized that this gift was hers alone, and it would be best if she kept it a secret. From this point on, she grew somewhat distant from the people around her, seeking only to obey the beautiful beings who had taken over her world.
When Lorna reached early adolescence, she left school and went to work doing odd jobs for her father who ran an automobile garage. It was about that time when the angels laid out her future:: she would marry a man she loved very much and they would have children. But poverty would be the family's constant companion, her beloved husband Joe would die far too soon, and Lorna would be called upon to use her developing gifts of healing, knowledge and hope for people whom God would send to her. It all seemed far too disturbing for Lorna but, as always, she said "yes" to God, assuming He would guide her, through her angels, to the path He had chosen for her.
The rest of this well-written volume outlines the difficulties she encountered (some extremely hard), her beautiful children who ended up encouraging her to come out of her self-imposed isolation and tell the world her story, and her plans to write additional books to help people understand how important angels are.. "Whether you believe it or not, you have your own angel," Lorna tells each of us. "He was assigned to you before you were even conceived, and he will be there to help you pass over." This does not mean life is perfect---we still must go through our human lives, she explains, but angels are intended to be our companions and guards, especially during the hardships that come to all of us.
The book is a blessing. Read it and rejoice!
on December 22, 2012
I want to start by saying that I definitely DO believe in the angelic realm and, being Catholic, I do believe that we all have Guardian Angel(s) and Guides. So I was attracted to this book b/c I was very open to reading about someone's experience with angelic beings. I do not doubt that such experiences and communications are possible, and I have personal reasons for believing it, though not anything like what Lorna Byrne claims to have.
On the plus side, I find this book comforting in that it confirms my own belief that we are protected, guided and cared for. I loved reading about how her angels love Lorna and her family, bring about circumstances to help her, and generally rejoice with her and share her sorrows. That is a comforting thought!
I do not have a problem, as one reviewer did, with Lorna's claim that the angels said that people did not listen to them enough, and so they were not able to avert certain tragedies. The reviewer was asking why God could not directly intervene to save the child in the book. However, God very rarely suspends natural laws. True miracles do occur, but they are very rare, and most often God works through human beings. He will not usually interfere with our free will. Thus, He gives us angels to guide us, and yes, "whisper in our ear" so to speak, to help us make right choices and also to intervene to help others, oppose evil, and avert tragedies. But the ultimate choice lies with us because of our God-given free will.
As some reviewers pointed out, I, too, found it odd that Lorna never mentioned Jesus, although she described her visions of "God" as looking very much as Christ might have looked on earth. It is suspect to me that this book seems to be bending over backwards to be politically correct and not offend anyone by mentioning the name of Jesus. Perhaps Lorna does not believe in the Blessed Trinity, though she claims to be Catholic? Not a criticism, as she is free to believe as she chooses; it's just an observation of something that does seem to stick out like a sore thumb. I also disagree with her explanation of the Blessed Virgin. As Catholics, we revere Mary as the holiest human being, but unlike her son Jesus, she is fully human and NOT a deity.
Although I would love to totally put my belief behind this book and give it a 5-star rating, several other disturbing features prevent me from doing so. First of all, her experiences often seem a little "over the top," as other reviewers have said. Someone had a problem with her free-and-easy relationship with Archangel Michael, but I'm not sure that in the book she ever described him as THE Archangel Michael; she just called him "Angel Michael," and I guess there could be lots of angels with the same names. But even so, if we can have a close and intimate, "friendly" relationship with Jesus and Mary and the Saints, why not St. Michael the Archangel, too? So that really doesn't bother me.
The thing that did bother me the most, though, was the fact that several times the angels took on "fortune-telling" roles and told Lorna terrible things that were going to happen to her and her loved ones. The worst instance was showing her, in a vision when she was just a child, the man she would marry, and then going on to tell her that he would be very sickly, she'd have to take care of him, and he would not grow old with her. It's bad enough that life eventually blindsides us with hardship, tragedy and grief, but to have that pre-knowledge haunting you for your whole life constitutes mental cruelty, IMO! They also told her that her father was going to die, and their explanation that she had to experience his life from conception to death for him, in order to help him go to heaven, did not make sense to me. She herself even questioned why they would tell her such heartrending things, and they usually would not answer her.
I could have understood it if the angels were warning her about a bad event or death that could be prevented somehow by Lorna's having that knowledge, but to just ruin her joy by telling her terrible things that were going to happen way in advance seems heartless and cruel, and not what I would expect from heavenly beings. In the past, I sometimes have had premonitions of bad things that later happened, and to me it's a curse to have that knowledge, not a blessing. I never want to know the future, and I always pray that I NOT be shown something bad that's going to happen UNLESS there is something I can do about it.
There were other things that Lorna was asked to do that did not seem to make sense, but then, perhaps I just don't understand the way of the heavenly realm. One incident that seemed to have no real purpose was Lorna's confrontation with Satan, while she claimed to also be in the presence of God. What was the point of that? God was shown to be stronger, of course, and He dispelled Satan from her presence, but the whole episode seemed unnecessary to me, since Lorna had been ostensibly doing God's work with the angels for her whole life! Satan does come to tempt us, and if Lorna had been subjected to great temptation or fear during the course of her life, it would make more sense than Satan's just appearing and standing there like the boogeyman!
I also question the fact that Lorna claims that for most of her life she had no close friends b/c the angels "preferred her to be solitary." That doesn't sound right, b/c this is what evil entities will often do -- want to isolate you from other people. Perhaps it's b/c it would be hard for Lorna to have a close friendship with someone who didn't know about her "inner life" and her "secrets." But it just raises another question in my mind.
I also wondered why even after Lorna was grown, working and living what seemed to be a productive life, some of her relatives still referred to her as being "retarded" or mentally deficient in some way? What about Lorna (besides seeing the angels, but by adulthood she seemed to be dealing with this quite well) would make people refer to her this way? Perhaps it's just a matter of ignorant, malicious behavior on the part of her relatives, but it makes me wonder whether we are getting the whole story here!
I picked up this book to be uplifted and encouraged, and sometimes it did that, but in all honesty, most of the time I found it depressing. Although I do communicate with my own angels and guides(in a much less dramatic way), this book made me just glad that I don't have Lorna's gift, b/c it seems more a burden than anything else. It seems like the angels often brought her sorrow more than peace and joy. After every encounter I've had with my own spiritual protectors, I always felt loved and comforted, not troubled and sad. But then, who am I to say? I can only review this book from my own perspective, and I am the first to admit it could be flawed. I am giving my honest feelings, but every reader will have to draw his or her own conclusions.
on June 23, 2009
If you have ever wished that there were more to life than meets the eye, this is the book for you.
It is the autobiography of an Irish woman who since her earliest moments of awareness
has lived in two worlds.
To her parents, her teachers and her classmates, she seemed distracted, preoccupied, perhaps
even retarded. And yet today as a mature woman, a widow and a mother of four, she offers a
miraculous perspective on life that challenges most of what we assume to be true--or, for that matter,
To read this book is to enter a sacred space. We leave our contemporary world of swirling, dizzying
uncertainties and find a still point of clarity and certainty: angels exist, we matter to them
and to God, and they will guide us if we can quiet the noise in our lives and listen for their
whispered counsel. It may come as a feeling, a hunch,a surprising coincidence or even an
unaccustomed train of thought. Once we start to take it seriously, everything will change.
This does not mean, however, that all of our problems will suddenly vanish. What will change is how we view
them and deal with them. Life in this world is challenging and full of mystery, as the author's
account of her own life attests. Angels exist to guide us, to inspire us, and also to console us.
But we are free spiritual beings and must choose to listen.
Consider this: Most of what is wrong with life on our planet is a result of the actions people take, as
groups and as individuals. It is true that there are natural disasters from time to time, but if
we all listened to our better angels and overcame our fears and hatreds, we could lessen the
suffering of others through our caring and support. The greatest threat to humanity is, and always has been,
our capacity for inhumanity and indifference to our fellow beings. Lorna Byrne reminds us that each human soul is a luminous divine creation worthy of love.
It is true that we have heard these things before. Yet this account is different. Perhaps
It is the author's distinctive voice and presence that make this book so compelling. We sense an innocence and purity in her that is like that of a young child who has not yet known the disappointments and sorrows of life. And yet we know she has--and has transcended them.
Some European interviewers have expressed the opinion that this book is not a literary masterpiece; the
language is so simple that it can be read by a sixth-grader. This criticism misses the point. Some writers are masters of language who dazzle their readers with linguistic and literary virtuosity. But there are others who convey a profound experience in the simplest terms, shaping the narrative of their story so that its essence shines through their words as sunlight passes through a window. Lorna Byrne is this kind of writer. The very simplicity of her language renders many passages as evocative as poetry.
We must remember, though, that this is not a novel. It is a an account of her lived experiences. A friend of mine who read a chapter of the Irish edition earlier this year remarked at the time that the author either has a beautiful imagination or really does see angels. After reading the complete American edition, he recently
declared: "She really does see angels."
See if you don't agree.
For those who would like to explore some of the issues raised by Lorna Byrne's experiences, I would
recommend a book published last year in the U.S. by her editor at Random House Century-- U.K.
The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth is an imaginative masterpiece that examines the Western
esoteric tradition in the form of a thought experiment and asks how great minds in past ages could view
the world in a way that departs so strikingly from the mainstream. The endnotes are also worth
reading, especially those that relate to Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), a spiritual and intellectual Titan whom many Europeans regard as the greatest and most creative thinker of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Ronald M. Mazur
Winona State University
on July 10, 2009
This book has been inspirational in keeping faith alive. Ms. Byrne's story is heartwrenching and yet uplifting. She was very misunderstood as a child and apparently has a much closer relationship with the spiritual world than most. It helps in knowing that God and our angels hear our prayers without having to even say them. Not all we expect from life is smooth and easy, but if lead by our angels we will come to be enlighted much as Ms. Byrne has been able all of her life. I eagerly await her next book. Luckily I have connections in Ireland. And I wish to thank Ms. Byrne and her angels the only way I know how, for listening to her angels, writing this story and more recently at a book signing listening about my daughter's story in which she was critically injured and lost her best friend. Her family are all from Ireland and provided us with this book as a spiritual way of remembering Niamh, and having seen white feathers firsthand gives us comfort.
on June 22, 2010
I love working with the healing arts and angels. My 76 year-old mother actually found this book in a used book store (across the USA from me) and had such an exciting awakening and major life shift in consciousness. Thank you so much for that! She, of course, then recommended this book to me.
The reality of life for a beautiful soul with the gift of seeing and conversing angels really opened my eyes. I loved every moment, every word that Lorna wrote in her endearing and heart wrenching tale. I suppose I thought if one could just be in such daily communion with angels, have a visual and ongoing guiding dialogue with them, life would be a piece of cake. Not necessarily so....
Lorna led a very difficult life, riddled with financial and emotional hardship, yet her faith and love for God and the Angels kept her as strong as anyone could hope to be. She's a heroine, a superwoman, modeling how life can throw us constant and extreme challenges, yet we can stay in a loving relationship with all that is.
Lorna truly is a diamond surrounded by coal in so many ways, yet she shines through the darkest of the dark and others find their way through her light. Bless you, dear Lorna, for sharing your inspiring tale.... one I will recommend at the top of my list.
on March 29, 2014
First, let me say that I believe in angels and ask for their help and guidance on a regular basis, so my review is not based on any doubt that the subject matter is not real... I consider myself to be very spiritual rather than religious, so I'm not basing this on Christian beliefs or any other religion, but rather, I'm basing this on my common sense, or what felt true to me..
The book itself is very interesting. I listened to it on audible and the narrator did a very good job.. But I found myself listening to some parts of it thinking, somethings just not right about this...
As a child, the angels gave her a vision of her husband to be, telling her they would not grow old together, he would be very ill and she would have to take care of him.. Why would angels burden a young child with that knowledge?
She also says the angels told her when her father would be dying, and there's a point in time when she and her fathers souls unite and become one... Why?
She says there was a baby who was deceased laying next to a road near a bridge.. She was told over and over again to go near that bridge, though she didn't realize why.. Eventually, the angels brought a baby's soul to her and her husbands bed, and told her the baby was to lay with them in order to feel loved so it could cross over.. The story was disjointed and made no sense whatsoever.. How could Lorna show a baby she had no connection to, love? She says she had her back to the baby but could feel it move. She was afraid to roll over for fear of smothering it or hurting it.. But wasn't it a soul, not a human baby? That whole story was very confusing..
She speaks a lot about how her family treated her as if she was retarded.. I kept waiting for her to explain why they felt that way, but she never did say.. I have since watched her on utube, and she explains she was dyslexia, which they did not understand back then, so she can't read or write properly... Okay, I guess that does make sense..
She says on interviews that she can't write, but the angels tell her how and what to write, and that's how she's written books.. I read an article where the interviewer said Lorna has a computer program that writes down what she says..
Interviewers seem very taken with her and feel she's the real deal.. Maybe she is, but I still have to question so many things she wrote in this book.
Many reviewers have called her new age, and to some degree, she is, but on the flip side, she talks about satan and hell and says they are real.. That isn't new age... She says Satan basically stalked her for a very long time (it seemed to be years?), before confronting her.. She says God was there, standing by, watching, to test Lorna to see what she would do... That isn't the God I know.. He doesn't test us to watch us fall... That isn't new age thinking at all..
She talks a lot about how certain people only trusted her to help them and she kind of seems like she's patting herself a great deal on the back about healings.. She almost sounds like she sees herself as a Jesus figure.. I'm not trying to put words in her mouth, that's just the way I felt while listening to the book.. Yet, when I've listened to her on interviews, she's quick to say it isn't her gift, it's the angels working through her.. Listening to the book, I felt that perhaps she had been made to feel insignificant by her family, and the fact that strangers were drawn to her for help, made her feel good about herself..
She speaks about her husbands death, the first death, and says she begged God to let him stay a little longer.. She says God told her okay, he could stay, but Lorna was never to ask him again, this was a one time thing.. I saw her talking about that on a utube interview.. She says God was very angry with her for asking and she knew he wasn't pleased with her...When her husband was dying the 2nd time, she knew better than to ask God to spare him again..
That makes no sense to me... Aren't we suppose to pray to God to heal and protect our loved ones.. Would God really get mad because she dared to ask for her husband to be spared??
The descriptions she gives of what the angels look like seem a little out there.. And she speaks a lot of how they made her invisible when needed, and at other times, presented themselves in human form, and other people saw her walking with them..
There were events the angels warn her about involving other people, but they don't allow her to warn the person who will be involved in it.. Why would they do that? What would be the point?
You know, really, I hope she is the real deal.. I do believe our angels are with us all the time.. I believe each and everyone of us do have a guardian angel that is with us all our lives... Many things she says are comforting and ring true, but there are just some parts of her story that just made me wonder...
on May 16, 2013
I do hope that this book has improved Lorna's situation, yet I'm very sorry that I listened to it. It has greatly polluted my idea of angels.
I was astonished at the abuse Lorna was subjected to by her "angels". It was as though she has Stockholm Syndrome from her contact with these beings. They would say loving and comforting things to her one moment, then tell her something horrifying regarding her future, then lovingly tell her that she can't tell anyone. I could not be more disgusted by the tale of these "angels" than if I had read an account of child rape.
She begins to see these beings as a child and is told by them that she can't tell anyone or her father will send her to an institution, yet she is so distracted by them every minute that her family believes her to be "retarded". Because her family believed her to be retarded, they pulled her out of school at age 14, even though she did okay in school and enjoyed it. Loving beings would see that this was damaging and since we are told that the "angels" can appear or disappear at will, we can deduce that they chose to do damage. Then these "angels" taint her very sweet and loving relationship with her future husband by telling her years before she even meets him that he will die relatively young. It was cruel. No good came of it.
All during this story she and her family are living in harsh poverty,but the only help we hear of from her "angels" is of a bag of used toys and some good bread thrown in with heels they beg for their chickens from a restaurant. Her "angels" tell her that her husband, her baby, and her father are going to die but they don't tell her that the pawn shop where she has a loan on her ring is going to be robbed, or help her get the ring back before hand. How loving was that? Please note that she tells of hocking this ring several times, and what a help it was to have the ring and be able to get money when they really needed it. Remember they are in poverty. If she had finished school, maybe they would not have been as poor. All the while Lorna is in awe of her "angels" and she seems to treat them as her primary reality. Despite my efforts to see these beings in the same light as the author, it was all so disturbing that I pitied her captivation by them.
I purchased the audio CD version of this book which may be abridged. Amazon's description is not clear on that.
on March 6, 2010
First, I want to say that I bought the audiobook version of this title, and I was enchanted by the narrator, who has the most pleasant Irish accent I have ever heard. (Her name is Sile Bermingham). I think my experience of this book was very enhanced by hearing it read by Ms. Bermingham.
I very much believe in guardian angels, and in Archangels, but I was a bit taken aback that Ms. Byrne would have the incredibly casual relationship that she describes with the Archangel Michael. I think it is possible, but I am wary.
The thing that disturbed me the most about the book were two incidents where Lorna was told by her angels that accidents could be avoided if people just "listened to their angels". She describes a very traumatic accident which a young child experienced in a department store. Lorna wrote that the incident would not have occurred if people had paid attention to their angels.
I believe that God could have prevented this traumatic event with the child, whether or not the angels were being "paid attention to" by people in the store. If I were to believe that horrible events occurred because I missed a cue from my angel, this would be a very great burden to carry around with me. I do believe that angels can give us leadings and warnings, but I believe that if individuals somehow miss the warning, God can intervene and prevent the accident.
So I am rather ambivalent about this book, although I enjoyed it tremendously. I would recommend it, but not as a book that is "the bottom line" about angels and how they interact with human beings, but rather as one person's experience with angels.
on June 5, 2014
I have mixed feelings about the book, but not about Lorna's experiences. I was intrigued that she was able to see angels, this story doesn't seem made up to me. It made me wish that I could see my guardian angel, and feel the peace that must come with that. I felt that her life was so hard, and she seemed so happy with simple things. She is the kind of spirit that God would pick to reveal things to...you don't need to be the smartest, or the richest, or the most advantaged to be used by God. Lorna was always clear that she never prayed to the angels, she only prayed to God, but she talked to her angels, and urges us to talk to them to. I liked that the angels were playful and fun-loving; the world is full of too many dour, serious religious people and somehow I do not think that is reflective of God.
I didn't get too wrapped up in the theology of everything; whether she is Catholic enough, or mentioned Jesus enough, or whether the angels' revelations seemed cruel. Seeing things, knowing things that don't seem to be of the natural world can be a burden as well as a blessing. Some of the stories were outrageous but, whatever. The fault I had with the book was that there was too much detail on everyday life...some of it could have been cut and the book would not have suffered. I skimmed a lot towards the end...I didn't need a chronological day to day accounting of how many cups of tea she had with her dad before he died. Otherwise, I found her message hopeful and inspiring.
on September 15, 2012
This book landed on my hands when I was jobless for some months. Lorna encourages us to make use of the unemployed angels' help. They are eager to help us and we only need to ask. So I asked unemployed angels to help me land a job. After a few days, an HR lady from the company I now work with e-mailed me wanting to interview me. I asked the angels to guide me during the interview and within 2 days, they decided they wanted to hire me.
I bought another copy of the book to give to a friend of mine whose husband had been out of work the past couple of years. Within the same week of reading that book and asking for angelic help for her husband, a request for an interview was received by her husband! Before going to the interview, she asked that angels go with her husband. Within that week, he was offered a job.
There are numerous little miracles that are too lengthy to be discussed here. The awareness that angels are all around us ready to help us is in itself, a wonderful Divine gift to us.