Friday, November 12, 2010

The Third Angel, Alice Hoffman

Title:  The Third Angel
Author:  Alice Hoffman
Pages:  289
Audiobook Minutes:  7 hours, 45 minutes
Genre:  Fiction
Source:  New Hampshire Downloadable Books 
What you'll love:  A story that spans decades, yet ties together.
What will bug you:  Some childlike thoughts/behaviors with the adult characters.

First.  If you're a NH resident you need to click the link above under "source".  Free downloadable audiobooks.  All you need is a library card.  

I downloaded The Third Angel last spring - I got about a third of the way through and got distracted, never finishing it.  I finally decided to start over.  I'm so glad I did.  Not only did I enjoy the story, but (quite honestly) it was a nice break from Harry Potter.  I'm loving my re-read of the series, but my brain is thirsting for other adventures too!

The Third Angel is a story in three parts, centered around three different characters, all of whom are intertwined.

The first is set in 1999.  Maddy has traveled to London to be maid-of-honor in her sister Allie's wedding.  Maddy has slept with Allie's fiancee. 

The second is set in 1962.  Frieda is working as a maid at the Lion's Park hotel - her father is a doctor, and wants her to go to university to become one as well.  She is not interested - and finds herself playing the role as muse to a reckless, seriously drug dependent up-and-coming rocker. 

The third is st in 1952.  Lucy is a young girl who has recently lost her Mother to illness.  Her Father has remarried, and they have traveled to London to attend the wedding of her stepmother's sister.  Lucy finds herself stuck in the middle of a fatal lovers quarrel involving the bride-to-be, the groom-to-be, and the bride-to-be's secret husband.  

I enjoyed this story.  I liked how segment took place in or around the Lion's Park hotel in London - all involving women who eventually become connected.  

The theme of "the third angel" comes up in each story.  There is the angel of life, there is the angel of death, and there is the third angel.  The third angel walks among us.  The third angel makes mistakes, and the third angel is sometimes the one that needs to be rescued.

The first part was my least favorite.  I really disliked Maddy.  I found her to be selfish and immature.  I really disliked how she's a grown woman, yet she still seems to be hung up on small details about her childhood where she felt she was not the "favorite" by her Mother.  I wanted to shake her and tell her to grown up.  

The story of The Blue Heron was referred to throughout this first section.  It's a neat story - but I also got a little irritated that the characters seemed to refer to it as if it were more than a story from their childhood.  "It was Allie that the Blue Heron came to..."  Give me a break.  When we were kids my brother was a picky eater.  My Mother invented a story about a little boy named "Axlerod" - a little boy who didn't eat his dinner and became so skinny he would blow away in the wind.  She used to tell it to us at the dinner table.  They drew stick figures of Axlerod and made up all kinds of sagas involving him facing serious problems because he wouldn't eat.  You don't hear me lamenting about it as an adult.  Whatever.  Jared needed a little motivation to eat chicken.  I didn't.  Big deal.  (Incidentally, I can probably take some of the blame for Jared's picky eating since I took great pleasure in telling him exactly where that meat was coming from... that's an older sister for you.)

I really loved the second section that took place in 1962.  I would love to be friends with Freida.  She's really the person that will come to mind when someone mentions this story to me.  Freida and her short black dress, her Cleopatra eyes, an her love affair with an engaged musician.

The final story was also quite enjoyable.  I really identified with Lucy Green.  She loved her books, and was spoke her mind.  This story is really the one that ties up all the loose ends.  

The women are all connected.  They're all tied up in some sort of doomed love triangle.  

A great story, an it took me four days of commuting to get through.  Enjoy!  Have you reviewed it?  Leave a link!

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