Friday, May 29, 2009

Falling Angels: Tracy Chevalier:

This is the third novel by Tracy Chevalier that I have read and I have found them all utterly compelling and so different. I loved the choice of title which I felt was a clever use of symbolism, with angels falling throughout the book! The opening chapter may well surprise you about those staid Victorians.
Falling Angels is about the friendship of two little girls Lavinia Waterhouse and Maude Coleman.
Covering the time from when they first met in the local graveyard, where their family plots are next door to each other. It is 1901 and everyone is in mourning for the death of Queen Victoria. We follow the girls growing up through changing times for the next nine years. The book is narrated by just about every character in the book, so the story comes together seen through the eyes of not only the two protagonists but their families, household staff and two members of the graveyard staff that play important roles in the plot. This structure gave the effect of feeling very much part of the plot oneself as though all the characters were speaking to you personally, which very cleverly makes you feel you are there! Drawn into the seemingly mundane lives of the Waterhouse and Coleman families the drama builds as Maude’s mother becomes involved with the suffragette movement and a series of tragedies occur.
I recommend this novel as an enjoyable read written from an interesting angle about a fascinating period in British history.


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