The Guardian Angel's Journal

Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Guideposts, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-8249-4879-5
Readers who overlook the uninviting title will be treated to a thoroughly original take on a familiar literary conceit. Margot Delacroix is dead as the story opens, but has become a guardian angel named Ruth, sent back to guard herself reliving her life, following the four rules of guardian angelhood: witness, protect, record, love. Ruth can affect what Margot does, a little. The life that unfolds, or re-unfolds, is harsh and filled with bad choices, but Ruth is there to give protection and nudges that may—or may not—be followed. Ruth is particularly anxious to better understand why her/Margot's teenage son ended up in jail for murder, and she sees a chance to make a difference, at great cost. Debut novelist Jess-Cooke, who lives in England, is a lovely writer; Ruth's narrative voice is compelling. The writer's fertile imagination generates a host of minor characters throughout Margot's life, all of whom have well-characterized guardian angels interacting with Ruth. The interplay of the planes of angelic and earthly existence is an insistent tease that reels the reader in and along. Jess-Cooke is one to watch. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-8249-4946-4
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-7499-5323-2
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