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Falling Angels

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  19,223 Ratings  ·  1,215 Reviews
In her New York Times bestselling follow-up, Tracy Chevalier once again paints a distant age with a rich and provocative palette of characters. Told through a variety of shifting perspectives- wives and husbands, friends and lovers, masters and their servants, and a gravedigger's son-Falling Angels follows the fortunes of two families in the emerging years of the twentieth ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 2001)
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K.D. Absolutely
Mar 30, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Gaslit England during the turn of the century. The story starts during the funeral of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and ends during the funeral of King Edward VII (1901-1910). On their visit to the cemetery to pay respect to their beloved queen, two families meet: the Colemans and the Waterhouses and their relationships are started by the friendship between their two 5-y/o daughters, Maude Coleman and Lavinia Waterhouse. They meet when they are 5 years old and the story ends when they are in the br ...more
Cheryl  Bennett
Jul 31, 2008 Cheryl Bennett rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women!
Recommended to Cheryl by: Patty
This book grabbed me from the very first page. Set at the turn of the century, the story takes place amidst the women's suffrage movement. Gender issues are also noted, whereas the man was the head of the household and "handled" the wife.
Each character speaks individually, allowing the reader to listen and decide for themselves where to put the importance of each character. The voice of the youngest children is included, as is the maid, cook, grave digger to the "gubner."
Issues of class are also
Susan Roy
Jul 26, 2009 Susan Roy rated it it was ok
When I picked the book I was intrigued by the time period and the vehicle of using several characters and their point of view to narrate the story. I read “Girl with the Pearl Earring” which I liked very much and thought the author did a marvelous job researching the period and bringing the time period and the characters were well developed. Based on my past experience with this author I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately I was deeply disappointed with this book.

Various characters in the
Jan 10, 2010 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Victorians were obsessed with death and sex. This book opens with the death of Queen Victoria, and ends with the death of King Edward, placing it squarely in Edwardian times, but the Victorian obsessions of death and sex are the two themes of this novel, pushing and pulling each other forward to modern times or back towards the Victorian age.

The book follows two rival families sharing adjacent cemetery plots and who eventually become next door neighbors. The two little girls become friends, the
I found this book to be initially better than the infuriating "Girl with a Pearl Earring", maybe because it tried to present the story from different points of view, but then I got angry because the promise was totally unfulfilled. The characters were unbelievable and flat, as if written with some sort of manual in hand.

There were two girls who became friends despite the differences between their families and personalities, but nothing came out of it, because simply labeling one girl as "shallo
Mary Pellecchia
Mar 16, 2008 Mary Pellecchia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, feminists, people who enjoy experimental narrative
This takes place in Edwardian London, beginning the day after Victoria's death in 1901 and ending with the death of Edward VII in 1910. It concerns how the turn of the 20th Century affects two neighboring families, one of which hearkens back to the Victorian Era and one of which looks ahead to a new time. It especially concerns the incredibly stifling lives of women at the time. The mother in the forward family becomes a suffragette, pushing them forward perhaps a bit faster than they would wish ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Dinjolina rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book from the first to the last page. When Maude Coleman and Lavinia Waterhouse, both five years of age, meet at their families' adjoining cemetery plots on the day after Queen Victoria's death, the friendship that results between sensitive, serious-minded Maude and narcissistic, melodramatic Livy is not unlikely, despite the difference in social classes. But the continuing presence in their lives of a young gravedigger, Simon Field, is. Far too cheeky for a boy of his age and cla ...more
Mar 17, 2013 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Tracy Chevalier's book I read. I really enjoyed the style of writing and the different perspectives. The main theme of the book is rather sombre and poignant as it mostly revolves around death and mourning but despite all this, I liked it a lot as it also includes the Victorians' way of thinking when faced with a death of a loved one. A favourite topic of mine - the suffragettes, is also mentioned quite frequently during the latter half of the novel. Although, it does not form ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
I totally enjoyed this book even though I didn't give it a 5 star. But it was a "period" book that gave a glimpse of the historical importance of cemetaries for "preambling" and for showing the wealth and position that each person held. But, even more than that, what it was like for ladies of the time to live in the parameters of the lives they were destined for. And the children who also fell into that society and what is expected of them. Fascinating stuff -- to me. Well written book and would ...more
Terry Mark
Mar 03, 2013 Terry Mark rated it liked it
This is the third Tracey Chevalier book I've read and my least favourite. I quite liked the early stages of the book when the girls first met and their times playing in the cemetery but for me the book then went down hill and got more depressing and very sad, and I realise it was probably a very miserable time for a lot of people at that time but it dragged me down with it I'm afraid.So that won't be going on to my bookshelf with the other two.I hope it can find it's way to someone else's.
Magrat Ajostiernos
Dec 27, 2015 Magrat Ajostiernos rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
No me ha gustado mucho :(
Personajes planos, previsibles y con poca fuerza. Tramas vistas una y mil veces... En fin, me quedo con el contexto, que al menos se nota que la autora se documentó para realizar el libro
Lori Anderson
Apr 27, 2011 Lori Anderson rated it it was amazing
This was one of those stories that brought tears to my eyes at the end. It's an Edwardian tale of friendship, tragedy, loss, and recovery.

Some people say this book isn't plausible because friendships between a richer yet well-grounded girl, a less-rich but melodramatic girl, and a lowly grave-digger their age is highly unlikely. I would say, things happen when kids are involved. You never know who your friends will be.

I was little jarred when the story line, which is told by the point of view of
تاحالا جنازه ندیده ام . گفتن این حرف از یک گورکن بعید به نظر می رسد . تمام روز را با جنازه های اطرافم سر میکنم ولی همه شان توی تابوت اند . درشان محکم میخ شده اند و روی شان هم خاک ریخته شده . بعضی وقت ها می ایستم روی یک تابوت ، داخل قبر . بین من و جنازه فقط چند سانتی متر فاصله است . اما نمی بینمش . اگر زمان بیشتری را بیرون از قبرستان صرف می کردم جنازه های بیشتری می دیدم . مسخره است ، مادر و خواهرهایم صدتاشان را دیده اند . همه زن ها و بچه هایی که موقع دنیا آمدن مرده اند و یا همسایه هایی که از گرسن ...more
Jo Ellen
Aug 24, 2015 Jo Ellen rated it it was amazing
I abandoned the last book I was reading because after reading halfway through the book, I felt no interest in any of the characters. The opposite was true of the people in this novel. I was immediately caught up in all of their lives from the beginning. And I must say, the beginning was rather shocking considering the novel started in 1901.
A cemetery and the suffragette movement provided dramatic backdrops for each character to narrate his/her story. I was amazed at how much one can learn about
Aug 12, 2016 Letitia rated it liked it
This novel does something that I think is important to good historical fiction: it integrates actual historical events and the trends of the day into the lives of the fictional characters. The deaths of royals, the suffragette movement, the centrality of death to the reality of Victorian lives, all come through as authentic cultural touchstones.

The issue with this particular novel is that there is little to no plot. As a cultural and historical snapshot I think it's done very well. As a story, i
Mar 03, 2008 Diana rated it it was amazing
I love this author, and the subject matter of this book was so macabre, yet intriguing. On my last trip to London we visited Highgate cemetery (which the fictional cemetery in this book is based on. Chevalier describes everything is such detail. Highgate was a Victorian cemetery and can only be toured on the Victorian side with a guide. I was as enchanted with this book as I was with the cemetery. Both gave me chills.
نوشیار خلیلی
روایت شکستهبندی شده دربارهی دو خانواده انگلیسی در اوایل قرن بیستم. شخصیتها ناپرورده و موضوعات اضافی زیاد. ...more
Dana Loo
Sep 19, 2016 Dana Loo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straordinariamente brava la Chevalier anche in questo romanzo storico/sociale molto introspettivo e non solo per ciò che riguarda la scelta della struttura narrativa, una sorta di diario a POV alternati che coinvolge tutti i protagonisti, anche quelli minori. Una storia che presenta un plot tutto sommato sobrio ma che fa emergere, attraverso la voce e i comportamenti dei vari protagonisti i contrasti, le diversità, gli scontri, i pensieri, le interiorità, i disagi di ognuno di loro. Tutto si svo ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
I've read and enjoyed a couple of Tracy Chevalier novels, Falling Angels was published in 2002 and it is another great historical read - quirky, informative, at times very funny and some great characters.

It starts at the beginning of the twentieth century and is set in London, narrated by different characters including members of two families and a grave digger's son who lives and works in the neighbouring cemetery.

The two main characters are the two females of the families - Kitty and Gertrude.
May 29, 2009 LindyLouMac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the third novel by Tracy Chevalier that I have read and I have found them all utterly compelling and so different. I loved the choice of title which I felt was a clever use of symbolism, with angels falling throughout the book! The opening chapter may well surprise you about those staid Victorians.
Falling Angels is about the friendship of two little girls Lavinia Waterhouse and Maude Coleman.
Covering the time from when they first met in the local g
Nov 06, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok
Ok, this is my third Tracy Chevalier book, and I think I'm done with her now. I really, really enjoyed Girl With a Pearl Earring, which had a lovely atmosphere and focused on subject matter very interesting to me.

This one didn't have those draws. I picked this up because it's right around Election Day and I thought it was all about the women's suffrage movement. Instead, I find it's a story about two families at the turn of the century, and their seriously petty, semi-dysfunctional problems. Wow
Secondo il mio parere questo è il vero capolavoro della Chevalier. Leggerlo è stata una lotta contro il tempo, divorando le pagine.
La storia come sempre ambietata nel passato, in un momento particolare, la prima settimana di Gennaio del 1900. Siamo in Inghilterra. Due famiglie abbastanza diverse tra loro si incontrano/scontrano per la prima volta in un cimitero, perchè le rispettive tombe di famiglia sono contigue.
Da questo momento le loro vite rimarranno inesorabilmente intrecciate, loro malgr
Betty Strohecker
Mar 03, 2015 Betty Strohecker rated it it was amazing
Tracy Chevalier's inspriration for this novel was a visit to London's Highgate Cemetery, a very fashionable place to be buried during the Victorian period, but one that fell into disrepair after WWI. She set this story from 1901 - 1910, the end of the Victorian period and its traditions, moving into a more modern age, Edwardian. Her tale revolves around two familes - the Waterhouses, who cling to their Victorian values, and the Colemans, who are looking toward the future. These familes own neigh ...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Set in Edwardian London, Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier takes place from January 1901 to May 1910 and was a joy to read.

This historical novel confidently covers themes of mourning, mourning etiquette, class and the suffragette movement with an engaging and natural writing style.

The chapters are narrated in the first person by several of the main characters, although each character picks up the thread of the story and continues with it, rather than re-living the same events from their point o
May 17, 2009 Lynn rated it really liked it
This tale opens on the day of Queen Victoria's death. Two families, with adjacent plots, meet for the first time at the cemetary. The book follows these two familes through their ups and downs over the course of nine years. The story pretty much revolves around the cemetary and is quite the commentary of Victorian England's obsession with death.

I enjoyed hearing everyone's voice: the story was told through about a dozen differnt "voices". It was never hard to keep up with each voice, and I enjo
Mar 04, 2015 Gift rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-novel
This was my fourth (or fifth?) book from Tracy so I had an idea what should I expect- nearly perfect historical research, beautiful language, and original topic. So I didnt mind waiting more than 60 pages, because… it is Tracy and Tracy normally has smooth but quite slow starts.
What was the result? It was definitely worth waiting! The book was not as witty as “The Lady and the Unicorn”, nor so good written as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” but I enjoyed. I liked the idea of “linked diaries” which
Feb 07, 2009 Renee rated it it was ok
This was my least favorite of Chevalier's books. It was as if she found an old cemetary and decided to construct a story so that she could write about it. There were too many unbelievable connections and coincidences. Two families, with burial plots and houses next to each other, with girls the same age, two affairs, two pregancies, to secrets, two deaths...It was all a bit too much. The first half of the book was somewhat slow, and it got more interesting afterwards. I enjoyed bits about the wo ...more
Tamara Ketter
Mar 03, 2015 Tamara Ketter rated it really liked it
If you read Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" in school and enjoyed it, then this book is for you. Set at the beginning of the 20th century, it deals with women's rights, growing up, control, class differences, and other changes in people's lives. The only disconcerting thing about the book is that it is told from different characters' perspectives, and it takes some time to get used to that. Definitely a good read!
Feb 07, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it
I seem to keep checking out Tracy Chevalier books because she is very prolific and there are always audio books by her on my library shelves! I think she is an interesting, good writer. A lot of her stuff like "Girl With the Pearl Earring" has some historical basis, but this one is simply a novel. I quite liked it. But it won't change your life or anything. :) I need Brad Ferguson to write brilliant reviews for me.
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Sisterhood of the...: Falling Angels Tracy Chevalier 11 15 Apr 26, 2013 12:13PM  
Was being a suffragette bad for Kitty? 3 38 Feb 17, 2012 01:28PM  
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19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.

Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

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