be a revelation

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be a revelation

To be different than one anticipated, often in a good way. Dana's performance in the play was a revelation—I had no idea she was such a talented actress.
See also: revelation

come as/be a reveˈlation (to somebody)

be a completely new or surprising experience; be different from what was expected: His performance in the race today was a revelation to everyone.My trip to Texas was a revelation.
See also: come, revelation
References in classic literature ?
I am long past the age when I could wish to form myself upon another writer, and I do not think I could now insensibly take on the likeness of another; but his work has been a revelation and a delight to me, such as I am sure I can never know again.