Tuesday, January 27, 2009
a time of angels: book review
A Time of Angels is a fabulous holiday read. It works on so many levels:
- fictional mystery, as clairvoyant Primo Verona, narrates his life story, the love and loss of his wife, the beautiful Beatrice,
- teaser of tastebuds, as Primo’s best friend is cafe owner Pasquale Benvenuto, creator of fruit breads and salami,
- migrant narratives, as survivors of the Holocaust seek healing in the new soils of Southern Africa,
- philosophical thoughtpiece, as the complex relationship between evil and good is explored.
Patricia Schonstein was born in Zimbabwe and her fiction has garnered her a range of literary awards. She writes beautifully, opening up the richness of her continent, skillfully developing characters, all against a backdrop that is artistically and intellectually stimulating. (It is rare for a book of fiction to conclude with a bibliography referencing both history and art). I am now on the look out for more from this developing talent, including A Quilt of Dreams and The Apothecary’s Daughter.