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Angels of Destruction

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  1,169 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller hailed as “captivating” (USA Today), “luminous and thrilling” (Washington Post), and “wonderful...So spare and unsentimental that it’s impossible not to be moved (Newsweek. His new novel, Angels of Destruction, opens on a winter’s night, when a young girl appears at the home of Mrs. Margaret Quinn, a ...more
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Shaye Areheart Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Carolyn  Storer
When I first received this book to review, I read the synopsis and thought it was going to be about fantasy and magic, but what I got was so much more.

The story begins in 1985. One bitterly cold night, Margaret quinn, a widow, who lives alone and still mourns the loss of her child; a daughter, who ran away a decade earlier with the boy that she loved, opens the door to find Norah, a small bespectacled girl, frozen and shivering with a battered suitcase leaning against her legs. Margaret takes th
Apr 04, 2009 RNOCEAN rated it it was amazing
Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller hailed as “captivating” (USA Today), “luminous and thrilling” (Washington Post), and “wonderful...So spare and unsentimental that it’s impossible not to be moved (Newsweek. His new novel, Angels of Destruction, opens on a winter’s night, when a young girl appears at the home of Mrs. Margaret Quinn, a widow who lives alone. A decade earlier, she had lost her only child, Erica, who fled with her high school sweetheart to join ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
I wanted to like this one more than I did. Really. Sometimes I found myself reading and subconsciously trying to talk myself into liking it. The premise was really intriguing, and I thought, what's not to like really? Angels, revolutionaries, cults, family secrets, shadowy figures...all of these are right up my alley. This book, however, was not. I do think that I can chalk up some of my disinterest up to personal preference, but mostly, I thought the writing was one big giant mess, and the more ...more
Carrie Holder
Mar 08, 2011 Carrie Holder rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book since I adore Donohue's first novel, "The Stolen Child." At first, I found the book interesting and mysterious. Then as the chapters moved along, Donahue's writing became fragmented. This book is all over the place. It skips around in time periods, settings, point of view of characters. Several times, I found myself confused and starting to loose interest. The characters in the book are so flawed that they are unlikeable. I could care less about any of the ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok
While I loved the first novel by this author, The Stolen Child, this story fell largely flat for me. The writing was still good, but the characters weren't as compelling. And I don't mind authors not answering every little question, leaving a little mystery, but this one answered too little.
Mar 23, 2010 Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
I loved Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, and so I ordered this, his second, as soon as I knew it existed.

The premise is interesting. Margaret’s daughter ran away and then her beloved husband died, leaving her alone in the world. But then, on a cold winter’s night, she opens the door and finds a child. A little girl. Norah. She claims to belong to no one, and and acquiesces when Margaret takes her in and plans to pass her off as a long-lost grandchild.

It set up some interesting poss
Jun 11, 2009 Brooke rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, general-fiction
I think that after this book, I might be satisfied with knowing that Keith Donohue is not an author for me. Like his first book, The Stolen Child A Novel, Angels of Destruction left me cold. It's technically well-written, but it didn't really do anything for me. I wasn't compelled to pick it up when I had some free time, and I was only too glad to put it down to go to bed. It went exactly where I expected it to go - nothing was surprising or touching, and I didn't feel anything for any of the ch ...more
Jun 29, 2009 Dawn rated it liked it
Margaret: "My daughter ran away 10 years ago, I still miss her."

Norah: "I look like an 11-year old girl but I'm really an angel (probably). Can I stay here?"

Margaret: "OK."

Norah: "Diane, go to New Mexico and get your niece back."

Diane: "OK."

Diane: "Erica, come back home, your mother still misses you."

Erica: "OK."

Erica: "Mom, where is Norah?"

Margaret: "She wasn't needed here any more so she left. She was an angel(probably)."

Erica: "Oh."
What I loved about Keith Donohue's debut novel, The Stolen Child, was the magic that seemed to drip from every page. It was a welcome change from a lot of the other things I had been reading, so I expected much the same with Angels of Destruction.

Some things are similar - Donohue has an interesting way with words; very similar in a lot of ways to a personal favorite, Stewart O'Nan. Some passages may be very bleak but written beautifully enough that it's hard to be anything but entranced while re
Vera Neves
Oct 16, 2013 Vera Neves rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, sdl

Quando Margaret achava que não iria conseguir engravidar, Erica foi uma bênção na sua vida e na do marido. Por esse motivo, este sempre a protegeu demasiado. Erica foge na primeira oportunidade e a mãe nunca consegue ultrapassar o desgosto. Já lá vão dez anos que perdeu a filha.
Quando numa noite gelada lhe aparece à porta uma menina, Norah, ela acolhe-a e, mesmo sabendo que não o deveria fazer, dá-lhe guarida e diz a todos na aldeia que é a sua neta. Ela própria parece por vezes querer acreditar
Dec 29, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it
I received an uncorrected proof from the publisher and was looking forward to reading the sophomore effort from Keith Donohue, who brought us Stolen Child (which was great).

I'm not going to give a recap of the book, I'm sure there will be plenty of those for people who need it.

What if there are Angels everywhere, we just don't know what to look for when they come to us with guidence? Could that stranger you met at the coffee house be an angel? Can you past be forgiven, do we all need some sort
Dec 07, 2009 Suzi rated it liked it
After thinking about Angels of Destruction for almost a week now I still don't know whether I liked it or not. The writing is technically good, but the ending left me underwhelmed. I can understand that Donohue perhaps did not want to spell everything out for the reader and make us think, but could he have been clearer on whether Norah was an angel or not? Personally, I think she was, and that she is the same girl that Erica met in Tennessee (Una) ten years earlier. Also, what happens to her? ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Georgina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am getting increasingly irked by underhand methods of selling and this edition has as part of its blurb comments from critics, which on closer examination prove to be about another book altogether.
That aside.....
There was a lot about this novel that I should have liked. I am a sucker for a bit of magical realism, I love the idea of angelic beings who arrive mysteriously, have a bit of a challenge with their own separation from human life, do their work, engage with fallible people on a weird l
Brian James
Oct 11, 2010 Brian James rated it liked it
As with Keith Donohue's first novel, The Stolen Child, the most intriguing aspect of this novel is his remarkable ability to blend supernatural elements into his stories without ever making the reader feel as though they are reading fantasy fiction. In The Stolen Child, he tackled goblins (or changlings) and here he introduces the reader to Norah, a peculiar kind of angel that feels original and genuine. Donohue knows how to highlight subtleties in order to create a larger portrait. His magical ...more
Mia Tryst
Nov 17, 2009 Mia Tryst rated it liked it
Amateur writing at best. The dialogue was stiff and unconvincing. In fact, the characters were, for the most part, unbelievable: Example: A child shows up on your doorstep in the middle of the night in the dead of winter and you invite her in, just like that? No alarm bells go off in your head? You just tell her to come in and promise her, "we'll talk it about in the morning?" That was the first mistake. Then the child herself is so unreal as to be laughable. A cute child with glasses, but she ...more
Ah, the frustration. I was excited and intrigued by the premise and the promise of supernatural elements to give that little shiver of the unknown.
But the shivers never came to my skin and the creepy tone that other reviewers mentioned never materialized for me. I never found any of the characters particularly sympathetic, despite that I think I was supposed to.

So I would typically give a book like this that was rather a disappointment one or two stars. I bump it up to three only because we ca
Dec 26, 2009 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel reads and feels quite a lot like its main character, Norah: mysterious, slightly ethereal, and filled with an air of sadness and loneliness......however still shot through with hope.....The writing, is all of those things also; even apart from the story telling, Donohue somehow manages to fill the words themselves with a sense of loneliness and longing..... At the end, I am not sure that I have entirely wrapped my head around the message and moral of the story, and there are some ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Bethany rated it liked it
I liked this book, it had a similar loose magical feel as the other book by this author I have read. The Stolen Child. However, the Stolen Child had a deep current of the human struggle running through it that this book tried for, but didn't really achieve for me. I think this is because I didn't know who/what Norah was for a long time; it was hinted at, but there wasn't enough to really understand the magic that was working in the forces of the characters' lives. I wanted it to be an experience ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Tiziana rated it it was amazing
On a cold winter night in 1985 a young girl appeared at the door of Mrs. Margaret Quinn. Margaret, still feeling the loss of her missing daughter Erica, welcomes the stranger, claiming to be an orphan with no prior address, into her home. A few nights, turned into Margaret making up a story that the little girl was the daughter of her missing daughter and sends her to school with a new identity, Nora Quinn. But Nora Quinn is no ordinary little girl and soon will change the lives of people around ...more
Jun 26, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
I didn't love this as much as Stolen Child, but it was still a really intelligently written story that really makes you think.

I found it hard to get started. Like Stolen Child, it jumps around a bit in place and time. But by the time I got to the second (and especially third) part I found myself wanting to read it more and more.

I only just liked it because I feel like there were some things that were left up to the reader to decide that could have been revealed in the end...but I can imagine t
Jan 27, 2010 Holyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I enjoyed Angels of Destruction. I appreciate that much of the book can be interpreted in different ways, depending on your own beliefs about the supernatural and how it does/does not interact with this world. As with many of the women in my book group, I did not so much appreciate the ending. I felt that Donohue could not quite decide how to conclude so he just stopped writing. I was impressed with Donohue's ability to give an authentic voice to such a variety of female characters, that ...more
May 08, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing
I think that Keith Donohue's second book is wonderful! It shares the same magical flair as his first book, The Stolen Child. This book ends, leaving you wanting more - more of this story, more of his beautiful words, anything! The way Donohue strings words together is simply artful. He uses the chronology and a sense of a more traditional mystery to keep the pages turning quickly. It is completely engrossing. I am already looking forward to his next book.
Jul 06, 2010 Cheryl added it
I have finally done it. I stopped reading a book that I wasn't enjoying. I can not muddle my way through the rest of this book. With that being the case I didn't think I should "rate" the book, but I would guess it would end up with one star from me. I might read Keith Donohue's first novl The Stolen Child at some other time because I did enjoy his writting style, but this book was just so boring.
Aug 08, 2010 Jenni rated it liked it
I read Stolen Child, the author's first book which I thought was outstanding. Angels fell a bit short for me. I do give it high marks for readability(hard to put down at times), character development and language. Beautifully written but I wanted more, especially after Stolen Child. It was kind of a letdown at the end. I would probably give it a 3.5.
Apr 27, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
I try not to compare novels by the same author, but couldn't help myself with Donohue. I so enjoyed The Stolen Child, but Angels of Destruction (hate the title!!) fell flat for me. It was very read-able, but the characters weren't as compelling. The end left a few too many questions unanswered.
Dec 21, 2008 Chatterinthewry rated it it was amazing
Read the uncorrected proof. Excellent and easy to read. I think if you liked Stolen Child you won't be dissappointed. Donohue returns to some of the SC themes and there are some similarities.

I'll say more after the book comes out in March.
May 24, 2013 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: family, magic, angel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2016 Rita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Keith Donohue é um escritor americano, que tirou um bacharelato e mestrado na Universidade de Duquesne e se doutorou em Inglês e Literatura pela Universidade Católica da América. O escritor trabalhou até 1998 no National Endowment of the Arts e redigiu alguns discursos para presidentes como John Frohnmayer e Jane Alexander.

O autor, que foi seleccionado e recomendado pela “Associação de Livreiros Independentes da América”, publicou o seu aclamado romance, “A Criança Roubada”, em 2006, que
May 03, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it
I was so taken with this guy's first book, The Stolen Child, I had to pick this up as soon as I saw it. While I didn't really feel it was quite as amazing, I certainly wasn't disappointed. The story begins with Margaret Quinn's discovery one winter night of a young girl on her doorstep. She takes her in, and though at first the girl is uncommunicative, Margaret decides, based on a note pinned to her coat with the letters "N-O-R" that her name is Norah. We also soon learn that Margaret is a widow ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Audrey rated it liked it
Lovely writing with some really interesting characters, but everything felt more unresolved by the end than I'd honestly like for it to be -- and I'm usually someone who's really okay with open-ended novels. But in this case, there were some things that I just don't think were treated fully by the author, and that's where I was disappointed.
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bookness 3 13 May 20, 2013 07:35AM  
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Keith Donohue is an American novelist. His acclaimed 2006 novel The Stolen Child, about a changeling, was inspired by the Yeats poem of the same name. His second novel, Angels of Destruction, was published in March 2009.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America.

Currently he is D
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