A Novel


New York Times bestselling author Frank Peretti returns to the genre that made him a household name with a stunning thriller about a grieving husband who encounters a teen identical to his dead wife…in face, name, and magical skills.

After a car wreck tragically claims the life of his wife and magic partner, Mandy, Dane Collins finds himself in a quaint coffee shop transfixed by a magician whose illusions even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. Even more mysterious is the performer herself. Nineteen-year-old Mandy has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he met and married some forty years earlier. They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but as Dane tries to figure out who Mandy really is, and she to understand why she is mysteriously drawn to him, she is being watched by those who not only possess all the answers but who also have the power to decide her fate.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 576 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451678932 | 
  • 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.