In the Company of Angels

Thomas E. Kennedy, Author . Bloomsbury $26 (276p) ISBN 978-1-60819-016-4

It probably doesn't reflect glowingly on American expat Kennedy's native country that this watershed novel is the first to be published in the U.S. after a decade of acclaim abroad. Why it's taken so long is anyone's guess, as there's plenty to admire in the serpentine unwinding of troubled protagonists adrift in contemporary Copenhagen. First there's Bernardo “Nardo” Greene, a Chilean sifting through the torments he suffered at the hands of Pinochet's secret police with the help of his Danish therapist, Thorkild Kristensen, who acts as part-time narrator. Meanwhile, Michela Ibsen attempts to escape a history of abusive lovers, most recently, the psychopathically jealous Voss. Inquisitions into the nature of violence follow from Thorkild's private musings and from Michela's hospital-bound father, but it is in Nardo and Michela's cautious flirtation that the story's central problem—how do we exorcise patterns of abuse and arrive at what is worth loving in a world poisoned by cruelty?—is etched. Kennedy's respect for his characters and startlingly tender regard for basic humanity color what is in effect a high-concept love story resonant with, as Nardo says, “The produce... of our lives.” (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 10/12/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-4088-0291-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-60819-152-9
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-4088-0984-6
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-1-60819-467-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-4088-0844-3
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