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.
"An enchanting, meticulous memory novel, set in rural France, narrated by a ten-year-old girl whose voice may be the novel's strongest achievement as the household's emotional foundations are eroding."
--San Francisco Chronicle
A Book Sense selection