Marti's Reviews > Angel

Angel by Mary E. Kingsley
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May 06, 12

Read on May 06, 2012

Angel is a teenager who lives with her mother Ruth and grandmother Naomi. When Angel was still a baby, her father, Cal left and never came back. Curiously, Naomi is her paternal grandmother. Ruth and Naomi basically just tolerate each other and they all are living in Naomi's house. Angel is convinced that Ruth and Naomi have been keeping secrets from her but can't get anyone to talk. One summer night, Cal phones and tells Naomi, who answered the phone, that he will be coming home for Thanksgiving. Angel immediately sees that Ruth is not at all pleased by this development even though her parents are still legally married. Angel determines that she will find out the secrets that everyone has been hiding from her. This basically is a coming of age novel, and as a 62 year old, this type of novel usually doesn't appeal to me all that much. However, I must say that I actually liked this novel quite a lot. The character development of Angel, Ruth, and Naomi as well as of several more minor characters was excellent. Angel's best friend, Sophie, is a rather self-absorbed, beautiful girl whose mother is dying of cancer. Old Susan is a Native American rumored to be a witch. Angel runs into her one day after an unsettling experience and they become good friends. Patsy is Cal's half-sisterwho is hospitalized for a mental illness but whom Angel suspect of holding the key to the secrets she is attempting to unravel. Dottie, the town's doctor's wife, may be wealthier than most in the town but has a heart of gold and really comes through when anyone needs her. Naomi is a very strict Christian who fervently believes in corporal punishment and who sees the devil in both Ruth and Angel. Jenkins, the hellfire and brimstone preacher, has his own secrets to protect. There is a lot of small town southern flavor, the goodness and also the dark side of this circa the seventies. Kingsley makes all of the characters, even the rather unsympathetic Naomi, seem like good people despite or perhaps even because of their foibles. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story about love and forgiveness.
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