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“Angelica ”

Written on: 11/02/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)


Arthur Phillips

Random House, Apr 2007, $24.95

ISBN: 1400062519

Stationary store clerk Constance is euphoric and overwhelmed when she marries biological researcher Joseph Barton as she has changed from lowly shop girl to the lady of the manor. She decides to give her spouse children, but over the years only Angelica is born. When their daughter turns four, Joseph insists their offspring no longer sleep in their room. Constance panics as she fears for Angelica's safety having seen spirits hover over her child; however Joseph's temper is more frightening so she reluctantly accepts that Angelica will sleep in her own room.

Still Constance consults with a spiritualist Anne Montague, who thinks there is something perverted about Joseph and his ferocious rage at home that manifests in the spirits. Joseph cannot understand why his wife suddenly fears him and cringes at his touch as if he is a beast. Years later, an adult Angelica wonders whether when she was a child if her father was a sexual predator, her mother a delusional maniac, or something even more frightening from beyond.

This late-Victorian psychological suspense tale switches perspective as the key players provide their point of view of what is happening when Angelica turned four. The storyline grips readers who are unsure as to what is the truth as each person's version seems right at the time it is presented. Interestingly the audience will empathize with Constance and Joseph as hey share in common the belief that their partner does not understand them. ANGELICA is a strong suspense thriller that will keep fans reading to learn supernatural or mundane cause and effect.

Harriet Klausner

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