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Saturday, November 17, 2012

"This author goes straight to the top of my favourites list." #bookreview


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Domingo's Angel


Written by Jenny Twist


Genre: Historical Fiction


Book Synopsis

When Angela turns up in a remote Spanish mountain village, she is so tall and so thin and so pale that everyone thinks she is a ghost or a fairy or the dreadful mantequero that comes in the night and sucks the fat from your bones.

But Domingo knows better. "Soy Angela," she said to him when they met – "I am an angel." Only later did he realize that she was telling him her name and by then it was too late and everyone knew her as Domingo's Angel.

This is the story of their love affair. But it is also the story of the people of the tiny mountain village – the indomitable Rosalba - shopkeeper, doctor, midwife and wise woman, who makes it her business to know everything that goes on in the village; Guillermo, the mayor, whose delusions of grandeur are rooted in his impoverished childhood; and Salva the Baker, who risked his life and liberty to give bread to the starving children.

The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco's rule.

Lyn's Rating





Lyn's Review


Jenny Twist is a wonderfully talented storyteller and ‘Domingo’s Angel’ weaves a spell of enchantment around the reader from start to finish. Although set in the 1950s (when the English woman, Angela, first arrives in the remote mountain village of Amendillas), there is nonetheless a timeless quality to the story. Through seamless flashbacks, the narrative takes us through the dreadful days of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s despotic rule, then forwards into a happier, hopeful future.

The small, self-sufficient community seems untouched by the outside world and, on the surface looks like paradise. However, every character has been affected and deeply scarred by past tragedies and each nurses his or her own secret pain. Widows, who have long ago stopped weeping and have put away their smiles - seemingly forever, are the backbone of this community now devoid of men of a certain generation.

The English Angela is escaping from her own tragic secrets, but her healing process begins when she meets Domingo who worships her as his angel, then little by little, the healing magic begins to spread. But it is Rosalba, the excellently–drawn village matriarch, whose complex life-journey really captivates our hearts. Angela is quick to realise that “Whatever Rosalba thinks today, the village will think tomorrow” and the true love story is the growing bond between these two women, who learn to heal each other.

I read the latter half of the story almost entirely through misty eyes as the main characters grew larger than life with every page, unfolding their astonishing stories to me like good friends trusting me with their heartfelt secrets. When I reached the final page, I felt bereft and lonely, though completely satisfied that I had left them all in very good hands. Domingo’s Angel is a story I will certainly read again and this author goes straight to the top of my favourites list.

Review Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. The above review was not influenced in any way, inluding financial.

Maturity Disclaimer: There is some violence in keeping with actual history and the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War.

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