Each Angel Burns

Each Angel Burns

5.0 3
by Kathleen Valentine

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In the latter part of the 19th century the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel was built on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a peninsula in Maine. From its earliest days there were rumors of strange activity there --- tunnels through the cliff were reported to give access for smugglers, a miracle-working nun was said to live there, and a group of drunken…  See more details below


In the latter part of the 19th century the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel was built on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a peninsula in Maine. From its earliest days there were rumors of strange activity there --- tunnels through the cliff were reported to give access for smugglers, a miracle-working nun was said to live there, and a group of drunken lumberjacks who stormed the convent to kidnap wives claimed to have been vanquished by a giant angel with a flaming spear.

One hundred years later, when the last of the old cloistered nuns was removed to a retirement home, the decision was made to close and sell the convent. That's when it was discovered that the convent's treasure, a marble statue of the Archangel Gabriel by Italian sculptor Giovanni Dupré, was missing. In Ripley Mills, Massachusetts the self-titled "wild bunch", who played football together back in high school, gather every Thursday for dinner and beer. More than thirty years have passed and the group isn't what it used to be. Charlie's new female boss is young, pretty, and intimidating. Whitey's wife has cancer, Bull's wife just found out about his affair with an exotic dancer, and Vinnie can't get women to go out with him. Gabe's three daughters have grown up and his wife is making life miserable. Peter doesn't have those problems, he's a Jesuit priest.

But they still get together every week to drink, eat, and listen to one anothers' problems. Then Father Peter makes a startling revelation, he had once been in love with a girl he met in Paris. He planned to leave the seminary to marry her but she rejected him to marry an older, wealthy man. Pete is happy as a priest teaching at Boston College but now Maggie has returned. She is leaving her husband and has purchased an old, abandoned convent in Maine that she plans to convert to a sculpture studio.

On Pete's recommendation Gabe takes the job of helping Maggie to restore the convent. But, as winter closes in, the mysteries begin again. Stories are circulating about bodies of young women washing up on the shore. Maggie's husband refuses to answer her calls. Gabe's cantankerous father, Mick, tells him the truth about his mother who had once longed to be a nun in that convent. Ethan Darling, the local sheriff, is snooping around. Zeke, Gabe's dog, discovers a secret passage in the crypt under the chapel. And Father Peter realizes that Maggie is falling in love with his oldest friend.

Each Angel Burns is the story of three people at crossroads in their lives. It is a story of enduring friendship, of faith, of great evil and greater love --- and of how they culminate in a miracle.

Who, if I cried, would hear me, of the angelic orders? or even supposing that one should suddenly carry me to his heart - I should perish under the pressure of his stronger nature. For beauty is only a step removed from a burning terror we barely sustain, and we worship it for the graceful sublimity with which it disdains to consume us. Each angel burns. - Ranier Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

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Product Details

Parlez-Moi Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

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Each Angel Burns 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
pimser More than 1 year ago
I want to disclose up front that I am also an author. I did not receive this free, I bought it for kindle and I did so because I had read a review and thought it sounded good. I am always worried about leaving 5 stars because I do write. I am afraid people will think I am shilling for a friend. But, I am not, and when a book deserves it I go ahead and give it the 5 stars it deserves. I just finished this book tonight and must say it was a thoroughly enjoyable book. It was not a book that makes you overly eomtional or one that keeps you on the edge of your chair. What it is is one where you jump in head first and find yourself immersed in a story where every character becomes someone you fell you know. Great character development and solid writing make this a novel that is a pleasure. I love feeling I have spent my time well when I finish and this sure did that. The sex was different from most books. Neither sweet nor graphic it was honest, healing, and warm. It impressed me. I also loved the banter bewteen the men, which never seemed contrived. The descriptions of the Arm Pit were prefect. I could smell and stale beer absorbed on the floor and the tobacco in the air. This is a book that both men and women will find engrossing. One of the best I have read in a long time. Very, very impressed from the first page on.
NaomiB-brn More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent. It was able to draw me in from page one, yet kept me enthralled and interested in the story throughout the book for multiple reasons. It was weird because I would call the book a noir/romance/mystery...very unusual book..it isn't your normal type of book to be "cookie cuttered" into a genre.
MLGill More than 1 year ago
Each Angel Burns is Valentine's second novel & is even more sophisticated and cleverly woven than her first, An Old Mermaid's Tale, which was a story I thought would be impossible to beat. I was wrong. Each Angel Burns is a masterpiece. The story begins with a wonderful introduction to a small group of middle-aged men struggling with the disappointing realities of their lives. Two of the men in this group develop as central characters in the book: Gabe is a talented craftsman with an artist's eye and heart, and Pete, the most handsome and gifted man the old mill town ever produced is a Jesuit priest teaching at nearby Boston College. Gabe is the settled-down guy who never wandered far from home; long married with three adult daughters who've flown the nest, Gabe struggles to understand how his marriage turned into a meat locker. Valentine's ability to sketch out a marriage turned as cold as dry ice and just as caustic is astonishing. Gabe's wife is a woman seething with slowly fermented husband-hate, a hate whose seeds were planted long ago when she married Gabe, knowing full well she didn't love him. Gabe is excruciatingly unaware that the defect in his marriage is not anything he can correct. Father Pete is married too but his spouse, Holy Mother Church, is a more demanding lover than any earthly wife. Pete has been a good priest - a faithful and loving spouse - but when the only woman he ever loved, Maggie, reappears in his life he, like Gabe, is suddenly faced with his own middle-aged marital crisis. Maggie, named after The Magdalene, is married to a man of great wealth and even greater malevolence and after years of abuse Maggie has finally found a way to break free. Her husband, Sinclair, has given her the strange gift of a deconsecrated convent built on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Maggie is determined to return the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel to its old glory and as she works to regenerate the mysterious convent it begins to regenerate her. Maggie's hunt for the famous and long-lost statue of Gabriel the Archangel that was said to miraculously guard the convent door leads her to an expert on the subject at Boston College. and back into the life of Fr. Peter Black, the man she loved but walked out on many years before. The Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel becomes ground zero in a Manichean battle for the hearts and souls - and lives - of all three of heaven's namesakes: Gabe, named after St. Gabriel, the patron saint of priests; Peter, the rock upon whom Christ built His church; and the Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood and maligned women in Scripture, the woman of sin with the purest of hearts. Maggie's malevolent husband is the Devil's own handiwork; he is a creature of unimaginable evil able to destroy all three as surely as he has destroyed many others. Gabriel the Archangel, however, is determined to deny the Devil his victory. EAB is sexy & sophisticated and Valentine delivers a few shockaroos that are completely unpredictable. The ending is suspenseful, original, and satisfying. A 5-Star read! Maureen Gill Author of January Moon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! Ms valentine has a way of writting that has you feel the pain of her characters and even eperience he atmophere she paints. I will certainly be happily reading her other novels, short stories and novellas.