Title: Angels of Destruction: A Novel
Author: Keith Donohue
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When a little girl appears in the middle of the night on Margaret Quinn’s doorstep, Margaret can’t help but take her in. She deduces the child’s name is Norah and that the girl is an orphan. Widowed, Margaret is lonely, especially since her only daughter Erica ran away from home at the age of seventeen and never came back. Margaret takes Norah in, passing her off as her granddaughter, unleashing a chain of events that she could not have foreseen.
I really enjoyed Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, but it took me awhile to pick up Angels of Destruction. Now that I’ve read it, I wish I had run out and gotten it as soon as it came out – it’s a wonderfully subtle and beautiful book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The aspect of Angels of Destruction that struck me most was its poignant commentary on the relationship between mother and daughter. Margaret is so broken after Erica leaves. Even though it’s been about 15 years since she left, Margaret still waits every day for her daughter to come home. Donohue portrays a mother’s grief and heartbreak at the loss of her daughter very convincingly.
After readers finish the last pages of this book, they will begin to contemplate the existence of angels. Are there angels walking among us? What is the definition of an angel – does it have to be a celestial being, or can it just be someone who helps us when we need it most? In Angels of Destruction, Norah is clearly an angel for Margaret. After Norah arrives, Margaret begins to awaken from the slumber she’s been in since Erica’s flight. Norah is the catalyst which begins Margaret’s healing process.
The flashback to Erica’s time is a very effective tool. It helps the reader gain a larger perspective on both Erica and Margaret’s relationship as well as the role Norah has to play in their story.
I really enjoyed Angels of Destruction and will definitely be picking up Keith Donohue’s next novel as soon as it comes out. If you appreciate well-written stories with a tinge of the supernatural (or celestial, as the case may be), then you should seek out this novel.