— interview with author Laura Lee on the novel Angel on It Matters
Angel is the story of a unique love triangle. A minister named Paul Tobit is torn between two great loves, a surprising love for a young man and his love of the church. When Paul encounters a being he initially confuses for an angel, and soon discovers is actually a young man, he becomes enamored by the mystical experience, and the young man himself. The relationship the two develop causes Paul to question everything he has taken for granted about his identity. It is about Paul’s journey to find authentic love, faith and meaning in his life…
There are two central characters, Paul, the minister and Ian the mysterious young man. The initial inspiration for the novel was Mount Rainier. I quite consciously conceived of Paul and Ian’s relationship as being like the mountain, the place where heaven and earth meet. Ian is the earth and Paul is the one with his head in the clouds.
The story is told from Paul’s point of view, so we only know Ian in terms of what he does and says and how Paul perceives him. Paul is a reflective introvert. He likes things to be settled and structured. He is not someone who has ever had any reason to seek controversy. He is a little bit bookish and intellectual. He can get too wrapped up in intellectual and philosophical ideas and become a little oblivious to the real world around him. He longs for the transcendent. So he wants any relationship he has to have a deep spiritual element.
Ian, on the other hand, is earthy. He enjoys his body and sensations, he likes food and sexuality. Where Paul is a bit cut off from the physical world, Ian has lacked the spiritual dimension of life because he had a bad experience growing up as a gay man in a very conservative church and family. So the pair are complementary. They fill each others gaps, as that great philosopher Rocky said.
Metaphorically, I saw their relationship as Mount Rainier. Rainier is a dormant volcano, beautiful and seemingly solid, but with an energy inside that will cause it to erupt at some point in the not too distant future."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald