Sister Evangeline has lived in St. Rose Convent with the Franciscan sisters of Perpetual Adoration since she was about twelve. Born in Europe, she and her father emigrated to New York after her mother was murdered. She is content in her routine of prayer and then work in the convent's library.
In late December 1999, Evangeline opens a letter from a V. A. Verlaine, a researcher from Columbia University who is interested in a puzzling link between Abigail Rockefeller and the late mother superior of the convent. The two meet, and so begins their immersion into the complex story of Evangeline's family, the field of angelology, and human history itself.
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni is a fascinating examination of the struggle between angels and humankind from both Catholic and scholarly points of view. These are not the angels of little girls' dreams, but the nephilim and gibborum who resent humans for supplanting them as God's chosen.
The foundation of Trussoni's novel may be in the church and in the writings of the saints, but it is not religious in the traditional sense; it is a literary and intelligent tale of good and evil. The book also sits comfortably next to historical thrillers, modern paranormals, and theological mysteries.
If Angelology has a flaw, it is in the last fifty pages or so when, in the race to the end, the novel sheds its academic coat and fully embraces its adventure persona. It is not that the final pages are poorly written or unexciting but that the ending lacks the freshness of the rest of the book. The last scene sets the stage for a sequel.
The audio edition (Penguin Audibooks) of Angelology was read by Susan Denaker, who pulls the listener into the novel and makes it difficult to turn off the mp3 player. Her skillful handling of the range of accents and characters enhanced the enjoyment of the novel. Denaker's talent was especially evident as she read the letters and documents that are at the core of the book.
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Published by Penguin / Viking, 2010
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: BCopyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)