Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: The Angel Connection by Judith Anne Barton

Title: The Angel Connection
Author: Judith Anne Barton
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Blue Heron Press
Publish Date: June 21, 2013
Source: I received the book from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You're a paranormal fan.
What's the Story?:

Synopsis: "In 1996, newly divorced TV journalist Morgan Reed finds herself at a personal and professional low, and escapes to pastoral Bucks County. There she discovers her new home is birthplace to the Pennsylvania Impressionist movement. Morgan impulsively buys an old haunted church rectory and is drawn into creating a documentary about the local painters of that era. She also gets pulled into an unsettling love affair with her fellow filmmaker, which raises the ire of her adult son. In 1895, in the same Bucks County Church Rectory, Evangeline Laury, the beautiful and restless wife of a zealot preacher is torn between her role as obedient wife and her birth as a talented painter in the hands of a charismatic local Impressionist who soon becomes her lover and soul mate. Evangeline struggles with her duties, but the desire for her lover and her art come at a cost, and an unspeakable tragedy makes her a virtual prisoner of the rectory. Bound together as they try to martial universal forces beyond their control, Morgan in 1996 and Evangeline in 1895 both struggle to fulfill their needs for creative expression, true love and familial duty. As Morgan uncovers the drama that unfolded in the old house 100 years earlier, the two women’s pasts meld into the present, bringing a shuddering retribution. Where does one story end and the other begin?"

My Two Cents: 

"The Angel Connection" is the story of Morgan, a woman whose life is not quite going to plan. Her marriage is broken. Her adult son seems to blame her and is struggling with his own issues. When she begins to make a documentary about the rural house that she's moved into, she quickly sees that there is more than meets the eye. This book is part historical-fiction and part paranormal story (the idea of reincarnation plays very heavily into this story). This book has a little bit for everyone.

The story started out a little bit slowly for me but picked up as the story went on. This story takes place in two time periods. First is 1996, where Morgan is trying to put her life back together. The other part takes place in 1895 where Evangeline Laury is feeling strangled by her life as a preacher's wife. She dreams of doing something more with her life but her husband believes that it's her job to perform her wifely duty and that's about it. As with so many stories that take place in the past and the present (or nearly present in this case), I really enjoyed the historic story better. I really feel like you got to know Evangeline a lot better than you got to know Morgan in this book.

I really liked that this story had an art bend to it. While I'm not the most artistic person ever, I do appreciate art. This book focuses on Impressionism, one of my very favorite forms of painting. Perhaps surprisingly, Philadelphia, PA was one of the American Impressionism movement (the lovely Mary Cassatt first started painting in Philly, cool, no?). However, the characters in this book were fictional so there was no Daniel Duvall, but you do get some insight into the Impressionist movement, a definite bonus for art lovers.

Overall, this book would be a great pick for historical-fiction fans who are looking for a bit of paranormal as a side dish for their history.



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