Angels of Destruction: Book summary and reviews of Angels of Destruction by Keith Donohue

Angels of Destruction

By Keith Donohue

Angels of Destruction
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

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 linebetween the real and the imagined, this mesmerizing new novel confirms Keith Donohue’s standing as one of our most inspiring and inventive novelists.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Norah’s unexplained origins form the enigmatic core of this story ... the novel movingly illustrates the quest for connection hardwired into every human heart." – Publishers Weekly.

"Donohue has a talent for using small details to draw his characters, and the result is a dark and unsettling story that takes hold of the reader." - Library Journal.

"Fused with spectral imagery and magnetic characters, Donohue’s ethereal foray into the unexpected consequences of love, impenetrable depths of loss, and infinite possibilities of faith is a chilling yet affirmative experience." - Booklist.

[A] beguiling tale of those who love well, but not wisely, unspooling like a poem embroidered on the heart – ornate, painful and true. . . . While some readers might liken Donohue’s penchant for mystical realism to that of novelist Alice Hoffman, any sweeping comparisons shortchange both writers, whose immense gifts bear separate and distinct literary imprimaturs. Still, he shares Hoffman’s uncanny ear for capturing the libretto of childhood ..." – BookPage.

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Author Information

Keith Donohue Author Biography

Photo: Cade Martin

Keith Donohue's novels include the national bestseller The Stolen Child, Centuries of June, and Angels of Destruction. He also has written reviews for the Washington Post. Donohue has a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in modern Irish literature and wrote the introduction to the Complete Novels of Flann O’Brien. He lives in Maryland near Washington, DC.

Author Interview
Link to Keith Donohue's Website

Name Pronunciation
Keith Donohue: don-a-hew

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