Angels in the Morning [Hardcover] Review

Angels in the Morning [Hardcover]Quietly unassuming yet rich in descriptive prose "Angels In The Morning" is the story of one summer in the life of 10-year-old Gabriel.Anticipated as a happy, carefree time, Gabriel arrives with her family to spend the warmer months in the Loiret region of France, at a charming stone house they have occupied during summers past.
In addition to Gabriel those eager for the countryside include her beautiful mother, not yet 30 years of age; her beloved Granny and great-aunt Ethel from South Africa; nanny Juliet, an Agatha Christie reading, moody, tippler; chauffeur Luis; and younger sister, Alex, who is almost deaf but quick at reading lips.
They experience a less than auspicious arrival (the discovery that the housekeeper has died over the winter).Father, the children are told, has been detained but will join them shortly.His stay with them is brief - barely long enough to announce that he has fallen in love with another woman.This news perplexes the girls, and serves to make an already somewhat distant mother even further removed.
For Gabriel's edification her father likens his predicament to the difficulty in choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream, assuming that one likes both the same."Perhaps my father's teasing," Gabriel thinks."He loves to tease us."
As the doctor next door takes a romantic interest in Gabriel's mother, Granny steps in to lavish time and love on the young girl.They take long barefoot walks together and listen for the sound of larks as the older woman enjoys one of her forbidden cigarettes.Regrettably their days together come to an end when Granny suddenly dies.Upon being told her grandmother is now in heaven, the precocious young girl harbors thoughts of her own: "I think she's sitting in another vegetable garden eating tomatoes and smoking cigarettes."
As the summer draws to a close so do the days of Gabriel's and Alex's tranquil innocence as they are left to face their tomorrows virtually alone.

- Gail Cooke

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Product Description:
A portrait of a life-changing summer at childhood's end, Angels in the Morning, a tale told with an elegance and grace reminiscent of a Monet landscape, in turn both warms the heart and breaks it.
Through the eyes of eleven-year-old Gabriel, almost, one is transported through the countryside not too far from Paris. In many ways a young woman and in other ways still a child, Gabriel has read Middlemarch and Anna Karenina, but doesn't know quite what to make of her own father's quiet announcement that while he still loves Gabriel's mother, he's also in love with another woman.
As the adults that populate her world busy themselves with his or her own concerns, Gabriel, with her younger sister Alex lockstepped behind her, tries to understand them all: her busybody great aunt, Ethel; her dumpy-but-proud English nanny Juliet (who pines for the family's chauffeur, the swarthy, suave, and married Spaniard, Luis); her confused Mummy, not yet thirty; Xavier, the family's summer neighbor and a psychologist, who's willing to make plenty of time for Mummy; and Gabriel's best friend-her very wise, very rich, and too late, she will learn, very ill Granny.
With an artist's eye, Sasha Troyan limns every page with the colors, sounds, and smells of the French countryside while masterfully interweaving her compelling tale. A story of childhood that recalls the precision of language of Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and a memory of childhood reminiscent of Mary Karr's memoir The Liar's Club, Angels in the Morning is a remarkable literary achievement that merits a place alongside them both.

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