Review: Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat
Published June 2nd 2012 by Perrat Publishing
Review copy received from the author
I was quite excited to be reading Spirit of Lost Angels, but sadly we were a poor match. This review contains some spoilers for the story.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the story of Victoire’s life. It starts when she is just a little girl living in rural 18th century France, and follows her until she is in her late twenties.
When I first started reading, I thought I was just having a rocky start. After a hundred pages of plowing through, I realised it was more than that. This fairly short book of 370 pages spans around twenty years. That means that every year only has an average of around seventeen pages to divulge on some happenings. In this lies my biggest problem with Spirit of Lost Angels; the narration is terribly jumpy and would just skip forward six month when I was getting into a story line. Every time I got interested in a scene or situation, whoosh, on to a different time we go. Plenty of plot points are explained in a backwards fashion, deflating all the suspension built. I’m a sucker for details, for digging into a psyche, but I’m not interested in a fragmentary novel of some woman’s life I never fully connect with.
Victoire herself I also had some issues with. This paragraph contains some spoilers, so tread carefully. First of all, she goes through a lot; she is raped, abused, kidnapped, kidnapped again, abused some more, etcetera. People around her drop like flies. But never do I feel any emotion from her – the aftermath of her first rape is barely described. Her motivations are often very vague. At plenty of times I was disgusted by her actions, which I probably just misunderstood, but there was no way of understanding her with no information.
Coupled with in-your-face-feminism and flowery language, Spirit of Lost Angels was basically one big cumulative of things I don’t enjoy in books. Maybe if it had focussed on one part of Victoire’s life it would have made a bigger impact, or maybe if it was a few hundred pages longer it would have been more gripping. Plenty of people have enjoyed this book, but sadly I’m not one of them.
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.
Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy?
Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.
Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.
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