When You are Set Apart by Your Gifts
(I introduced this set of book reviews here. This is the 2nd in the series)
The Loneliness of Angels
Myriam J.A. Chancy (set primarily in Haiti, pub 2010
Plot summary: a family tries to understand—and live with—its gift of discernment
I recently have read a lot of books in a very short span of time, all by authors with whom I was previously unfamiliar. The books have somewhat run together (finish one, start the next), and it’s been interesting to look back and see if I can distinguish them by the title. For me, that’s sort of a litmus test of whether the author did their job: did they capture the essence of the book in the title?
Ms. Chancy did.
The Loneliness of Angels title immediately evokes not just the central characters, whose spiritual interactions with the world leave them isolated even within family, but an arresting, unforgettable image embedded in the telling. We grow to care for each character and their endless struggles to get by in the world, which is originally Haiti and then America and other places overseas. (This is not a typical black/white island/America immigrant story, which makes it really nice.)
The ending, for me, could have used a little more foundation, but perhaps that’s because I missed the foundation that was laid (the telling reflects the mystical subject matter and sometimes I had to go back and re-read to make sure I knew where we were in time.) Even so, I loved the novel, the design of the cover, and, of course, the title