A Novel


A stunning new thriller from the father of Christian fiction—a grieving husband encounters a teen identical to his dead wife…in face, name, and magical skills.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, anything is possible.

DANE AND MANDY, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns, Mandy awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop.

Hoping to discover a new talent, Dane ventures into the shop and is transfixed by the illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is devastated by this teenager who doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier.

They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her.

Exceptionally well written, full of twists and mystery, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic.
  • Howard Books | 
  • 528 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451669305 | 
  • October 2012
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Illusion includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Frank Peretti. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Superstar magician Dane Collins has just lost his beloved wife and fellow performer Mandy in a fiery car accident. While Dane retreats to a new home in Idaho to mourn his loss, the young girl that Mandy was in 1970 suddenly finds herself alone and without identity in the year 2010. A chance encounter reunites Mandy and Dane, but now she is a girl who has never met him and he thinks he's having a delusion. As love that never died draws them into a relationship that cannot be, they are left to uncover the mysterious circumstances of their meeting, the seemingly supernatural bent to Mandy's magic, and the threatening presence following them. 

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Readers first meet Dane in the moment after he has lost his beloved wife, Mandy Collins. What do you learn about Dane from the very first scene? How does the first scene set up the reader for what follows? Why do you think the author chose to open the novel so violently?

2. Mandy Whitacre miraculously sits down i see more

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About the Author

Frank Peretti
Photograph by Russ Harrington

Frank Peretti

With more than 14 million books in print, Frank E. Peretti is perhaps the most recognized name in Christian fiction. He lives in northern Idaho with his wife, Barbara.