Book Review of "The Angels' Footpath" by Ronald R. Cooke

There's nothing quite like immersing oneself in a good book.  Typically, I do not review fiction since I have found so much "junk" purported as being good writing.  When you find a book that takes you to another time and helps instill pride and passion for your country - you have found a tremendous thing.

Take The Angels' Footpath, for example. A prescient look at what America could look like if there's ever too much informational control. It does not end on a sullen note, instead opting to have the characters inspire the reader to consider what is wholesome about humanity.

After all the arguing, political wrangling, and selfishness---there is really much more that unites us than separates us.

My review is enclosed below, I hope you enjoy it.

Books at The Beach

Available at

The Angels’ Footpath: Let’s take this walk together…
Ronald R. Cooke
ISBN-13: 978-0615367798
296 Pages (Includes front and back matter)

How different would life be in the United States, if the economy had all but collapsed and the government decided that it should monitor and regulate most of what its citizens were up to? In The Angels’ Footpath, author Ronald R. Cooke, paints a captivating record of the life of Ricardo Vasquez , a young boy who played football, considered love, and wanted to earn a decent living at a job he could respect.  In spite of a sluggish economy this man wanted to have a good life.

Soon, the name Ricardo gives way to “Rick,” and this young man finds his life intersecting with information technology given his proclivity for computer programming.  He finds the love of his life and determines to have a family---but the shaggy dog tale does not reveal the most amazing thing about Rick, he is no ordinary man—he is blessed with an amazing ability that will only be fully revealed later his adult years.

Rick seems to be living the American dream, he has a woman who adores him, a developing family, and he can pay his bills in spite of the hyperinflation which looms around the corner for the United States. Since Rick has always enjoyed philosophy, he determines that there must be a way he can contribute to society’s ills. Through a strange twist of fate, Rick comes into contact with Father, the unofficial rector of the San Jose Neighborhood Community. At the same time, a federal decree is issue which changes the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Personal and Private Security.

In this prescient look at what very well could happen in America, the characters of this story adjust to a malevolent government. No longer being concerned about being “for the people,” rather the government has become so nefarious that it seeks to control its denizens by controlling the flow of information. Such control puts Rick in a precarious place—how does one make a living by providing free access to information when the government is determined to control information and thereby control the populace?

Rick is a marked man, however. Not just in the sense that his desire to share information places him as an antagonist of government, he also has received a calling that has developed in his adult years. He probably would never have considered himself a religious man previously…but his aura sets people at peace. Soon, life events become evidence that he is a chosen vessel and has a message that the world needs to hear. Imagine being gifted to know the spiritual yearning of a fellow human being—and, perhaps more importantly, being savvy enough to know the precise things to say at a person’s darkest days.

Cooke is to be commended for his attempt at redeeming the essence of the family above all else. The strongest undertones to his message are that friends and family can help you make it through this life, regardless of the degradation of society.  In a similar manner, Cooke presents an alternative to stoic religious thought—that there is more to an experience of spirituality than a canned set of rules meant to imprison its adherents.  It will not take readers long to realize that Rick has been cast in a role that seems too big for him to fill; yet, het rises to the occasion and brings a message of peace and hope in his wake.

The Angels’ Footpath is commended to all who want to read an invigorating story that brings hope with every developing motif. The life of Richard Vasquez proves, it is always darkest before the dawn—those caught in a dark event should hold on and wait for the breaking of the light. The light is always brightest when it is unveiled in the aftermath of great tragedy.


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