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Dark Angel

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Finally! A novel about Mormons, by a Mormon, but not only for Mormons!

This is the exciting coming-of-age story of an 11-12 year old girl in the years soon after the Civil War. She's all tomboy and wonder -- wonder about becoming a woman, as her older sister is already. She is the colorfully outspoken daughter of a Mormon Bishop in 1869 Utah Territory. Everything around her
Paperback, 276 pages
Published February 6th 2008 by Slickrock Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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Feb 14, 2016 Myla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-picks
Read this a second time for book club and I absolutely loved it! It had been long enough (first time was in 2008) that I basically couldn't remember any details...I was glad, it was like reading it for the first time. I know it's not any literary wonder, but it keeps you turning pages, all the while doling out little nuggets of wisdom and insight by either tugging at your heart strings or tickling your funny bone.
Feb 23, 2016 Jaymie rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Has been so long since I have loved a book. I love the way it's written. It's hilariously witty and fun. Loved the main character and her point of view. Loved it beginning to end! I wish he had more books like this and almost wish there was more to Rose's story left to read. Quick, easy, fun read!
Aug 13, 2008 Leae rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: good people with the best of intentions
Recommended to Leae by: Brandy
I love this book. It is the story of heaven and hell of torture and saving grace of love and rejection and of growing up, becoming a woman and a better person for having loved someone, however painfully.
I loved the way Rose who is 11 has such a weary relationship with God, and how irreverent and contentious she is, with her morbid sense of self preservation and her wisdom brought by very hard lessons in her young life.
This story is about redemption and murder and it is set in the late 1800's in
Emily Maughan
Feb 23, 2011 Emily Maughan rated it really liked it
I think this one actually deserves 4.5 stars. This was such a fun read and definitely what I needed after reading a couple books I didn't like too much. I LOVED the main character Rose, the story was light, uplifting, mysterious and a little soul searching. I love how it was written and I was laughing out loud for some of the things Rose would say. I would definitely recommend this book. So fun.
Erin(and Hannah)
May 01, 2008 Erin(and Hannah) rated it really liked it
What a fun Mormon-setting western. That doesn't make it sound as fun as it is. I laughed so hard and couldn't put it down. There's a bit of "western-style" language, but nothing gratuitous. If you can get a copy of the first edition, the author edited out most of the language (he added it back in his later editions.) I have a few copies and plan on using it for our Dec. Book club.
Feb 13, 2009 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the characters in this book.
Rose Merrell is wise beyond her years but still a child, which the author did a great job portraying. And it was wonderful ending.... I won't give it away.

Jun 21, 2008 Jodielayton rated it really liked it
a good friend of mine at Timp Hospital introduced me to this read. A captivating look into what its like to grow up in polygamy
Read for book club and it was just okay for me. I liked the beginning and the end but found myself skimming through the middle.
Dec 26, 2014 Maggie rated it it was amazing
One of those life changing books for me. It made me examine how I judge people in my own head, and how that translates into how I treat people.
Aug 05, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lds
This was way better than I thought it would be. For an lds western it was really good. Fun, plot-driven and funny. Surprised there was so much swearing but it didn't seem gratuitous. It was a good summer read...I was impressed that Kirby could write in first person as a female so well. There were a lot of parts I wanted to read out loud.

"You were supposed to pray when the world weighted you down, but God and Jesus and me had a contrary relationship. Most of the time I held Them personally respo
Feb 25, 2016 Deanne rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. Some members of my family laughed till they had tears running. This is one of those rare books where the child's thoughts and words feel authentic. So many times when adults write, it feels like the kids words are created out of the adults head. This book feels like Kirby didn't make it up, but captured the true essence of a perceptive, spirited child's thoughts, and attitudes. Yeah, the 10 year old swears and has a few irreverent grievances with God. But, she does quit once someone ...more
Anne Marie
May 01, 2008 Anne Marie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! What a page turner! He really captured writing from the perspective of a 10 year old. I couldn't put it down. A really fun read.***By the way, I read the first edition published in 1991 (the only hardback copies), which apparently in the 2nd edition and the most recent (all the paperbacks), there are more swear words and I guess he added a couple of scenes that I'm told aren't very relevant to the story anyway. So, I wanted to give my disclaimer that I read the "cleaned-up ...more
Eric Bingham
Nov 08, 2012 Eric Bingham rated it really liked it
It took me a while into the book before I could decide if I liked it or not, but when it finally hooked me, I didn't want to put it down. The story is told through the eyes of a very humorous 11 year old girl (who, unfortunately, has a tendency toward profanity - the reason for the loss of one star.) This is one of the few books that has managed to make me both laugh out loud and tear up. Very well written (if a little drawn out in the beginning.) It was fun and humorous, and the characters were ...more
May 21, 2013 Patricia rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome book and not at all the type of book I am normally attracted to (which is brain candy). It was a very wrenching read for me, my gut all tied up in knots, and it haunted me until I finished it.

I loved Rose's voice and thoughts telling the story.

Note that there is swearing, frankness, cruelty and violence--and a lot of good things, too.

I still need to recover. I feel worn out emotionally and physically. I can't even think about picking up another book to start reading until I
Jul 15, 2010 Luisa rated it really liked it
Deliciously irreverent... I LOVED ROSE. She was such a babe, I loved her gumption and her attitude. It was funny how even if the language was laid down pretty thick with this one, it wasn't offensive. It just seemed like common language for the wild, wild west. LOVED the clever writing style. It was witty and entertaining. I WILL say though, that this book didn't help me feel at all more comfortable with the whole polygamy thing. No better, but no worse either.
Michelle Schwendiman
This book gets 3.5 stars. I loved the main character, Rose. Her voice as narrator was written so honestly, even irreverently at times, as you would expect from an 11 year old, tough, country girl who had seen a lot of tragedy in her short life. I enjoy books where characters experience growth or a change of heart, and many in this book do. I also liked the clever, funny writing. This is definitely not your typical LDS novel.
May 01, 2008 Chalene rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Women mostly
There is a slight LDS tinge to this book, as a fair warning, BUT I have had friends of many faiths enjoy this book.
It takes place in the 1800's in Utah during the time of polygamy. The narrator is a 10 year old girl, who through life experiences doesn't seem to be buying the whole God thing.
It is hilarious, yet touching and many lessons can be learned.
Try it. If you HATE it, I will buy it from you (with a receipt!)
Aug 29, 2008 Whitney rated it really liked it
this was a really interesting book. full of great one-liners and it makes you relate it to your own life. it is definately a little violent and foul language is a part, but it goes along with the story and there is a reason for everything, so i didn't mind it much. a really great read, especially for book clubs. it is thought provoking and a good discussion topic.
Aug 27, 2014 Karla rated it really liked it
I read this novel on the advice of my dad who found it on my grandfather's bookshelf after his passing. It was apparent that the book and been read and reread. I could see why, it was highly entertaining. I'd call it a Mormon Western. Rose was delightful and there were many lessons about tolerance and judgment woven into a very happy ending.
Aug 04, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: I'm not sure I'd admit liking it
Shelves: search, to-re-read
This book is hard to review. I've loved this book every time I've read it, but it's the kind of book I'm not sure I should like or admit to liking. What does anyone else think? I just read in some other reviews that the first edition is cleaner than following ones. I'm pretty sure that's the one I read.
Interesting historical fiction told by a young girl in the 1860ish time. The story takes place in Utah and Rose is the daughter of a polygamist. Rose's point of view is excellent. She is realistic and funny. I laughed out-loud repeatedly. The crude humor and swearing took me by surprise, but it was an enjoyable read in general.
May 17, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2008 Marlene rated it liked it
This is a cute "True Grit" feeling story. As is the case with many of my ratings--I struggle---. I would really give this 3 and a half stars. It is told from the viewpoint of a ten year old Mormon girl, living in pologamy times. It is funny. I enjoyed it and I think that it would be good fun for teenage girls.
Sep 29, 2008 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like historical fiction
I first read this book when I was 13 or so, I remembered it as being a great book and wanted to read it again. I did not find it untill I moved out here to utah.
This book was a good as I remembered the Charater development is fantastic. I found the first person narration completly engaging and wonderfull.
Dec 17, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: y-a
I read this book as a young teenager and laughed until I cried and then cried because it touched me. I was happy to finally find this book again after searching several times over the years. Another one I will have to reread before writing a more thorough review.
Dec 17, 2009 Vicky rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Robert Kirby is a humourist so I was really anxious to read his first novel. Turns out he is a really good writer. This is a serious story but he manages to intigrate his humor throughout without changing the seriouness of it. It's a quick read and very enjoyable.
Nov 10, 2009 Trudy rated it really liked it
My friend, Rita, loaned me this book. Always happy for a good recommendation, I read the first few pages with one eyebrow askew. But soon my eyebrow relaxed and I was captivated by the characters, the story line and Kirby's writing. Really liked this one.
Jun 08, 2010 Charissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Awesome LDS read; loved Rose, the 11 year old main character; she is spunky and quirky, a little irreverent, but good as can be. Set in early Salt Lake pioneer-polygamous times. 'Dark Angel' comes into town and upsets life as they know it, but changes Rose's family for good.
Jul 19, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
As a long-time reader of Robert Kirby's columns and essays, this wasn't at all what I was expecting plot-wise, but definitely what I expected in the department of cleverness and commentary on society. It's a great read.
Apr 19, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Such a different take on "Mormon" books. The review is so accurate that it's about Mormons but not only for Mormons. I really enjoyed it from cover to cover. The main character is hilarious and so lovable. A great story about good vs evil. I highly recommend it!
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