Angels of Destruction: A Novel

Angels of Destruction: A Novel

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by Keith Donohue
     
 

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Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller hailed as “captivating” (USA Today), “luminous and thrilling” (Washington Post), and “wonderful...So spare and unsentimental that it’s impossible not to be moved (Newsweek. His new novel, Angels of Destruction, opens on a winter’s

Overview

Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller hailed as “captivating” (USA Today), “luminous and thrilling” (Washington Post), and “wonderful...So spare and unsentimental that it’s impossible not to be moved (Newsweek. His new novel, Angels of Destruction, opens on a winter’s night, when a young girl appears at the home of Mrs. Margaret Quinn, a widow who lives alone. A decade earlier, she had lost her only child, Erica, who fled with her high school sweetheart to join a radical student group known as the Angels of Destruction. Before Margaret answers the knock in the dark hours, she whispers a prayer and then makes her visitor welcome at the door.

The girl, who claims to be nine years old and an orphan with no place to go, beguiles Margaret, offering some solace, some compensation, for the woman’s loss. Together, they hatch a plan to pass her off as her newly found granddaughter, Norah Quinn, and enlist Sean Fallon, a classmate and heartbroken boy, to guide her into the school and town.

Their conspiracy is vulnerable not only to those children and neighbors intrigued by Norah’s mysterious and magical qualities but by a lone figure shadowing the girl who threatens to reveal the child’s true identity and her purpose in Margaret’s life. Who are these strangers really? And what is their connection to the past, the Angels, and the long-missing daughter?

Angels of Destruction is an unforgettable story of hope and fear, heartache and redemption. The saga of the Quinn family unfolds against an America wracked by change. As it delicately dances on the line between the real and the imagined, this mesmerizing new novel confirms Keith Donohue’s standing as one of our most inspiring and inventive novelists.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307450272
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
03/03/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
20,797
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

KEITH DONOHUE’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a New York Times bestseller. For many years a ghostwriter, he now works at a federal governmental agency in Washington, D.C. He has published short stories and literary criticism, most recently an introduction to the collected works of Flann O’Brien. Donohue holds a Ph.D. in English from the Catholic University of America.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Angels of Destruction 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rupert_My_Love More than 1 year ago
"Angels of Destruction," in its entirety, maintains this slightly undeveloped aura about it; there are gaps in the plot that are not revisited nor concluded by the end, and what are assumed to be key plot elements (for example the cult 'Angels of Destruction' itself) are, in fact, secondary and unimportant. So why mention them at all? And why title the novel after an element mentioned only in passing? Although the ambiguousness of the little girl is blatantly intentional, her story is somehow lacking and her departure, even more so, is rushed and anticlimactic; in fact, that word sums up the entire ending as well.... Either way, Keith Donohue is an accomplished and detailed writer who pays special homage to the landscape of his novels. While "Stolen Child" remains the better of his two novels, "Angels of Destruction" is worth a go.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1985 in wintry Pennsylvania nine year old Norah knocks on the door of lonely widow Margaret Quinn. The older woman lets the frozen waif inside, but is surprised to learn the child insists she does not have parents and has always been on her own. Norah explains that she needed shelter from the cold night and saw the light in Margaret¿s home. Margaret excitedly allows Norah to stay; feeling redemption as her own daughter Erica as a teen ran away a decade ago to the West Coast with her boyfriend to join the radical Angels of Destruction.

Margaret and Norah agree that Norah will masquerade her as her granddaughter. Norah enters the school and becomes friends with a student Sean whose dad abandoned him. When Norah begins to insist she is an angel with a destructive message, some fear her while others revel in her seemingly magical happiness. However, one person in the shadows has followed her from before and struggles with what to do about her.

Obviously the bond between Margaret and Norah is the center of the tale as they even convince the older woman¿s skeptical sister that the child is her grand-niece. Using flashbacks, readers learn what happened to Erica on the road west. However, the key to the story line that keeps reader¿s attention is who Norah truly is and what is her mission in Pennsylvania.

Harriet Klausner