Falling angels by Tracy Chevalier

About the book

One cold January morning, in the wake of Queen Victoria’s death, two young sets of eyes meet across the graves at Highgate Cemetery. One pair belongs to smartly dressed Lavinia Waterhouse, whose mother clings to the traditional values she sees slipping away; the other to Maude Coleman, whose mother longs to escape the stifling grip of Victorian society. Thrust together by the girls’ friendship, these two very different families embark on a new century that promises electricity, emancipation and other changes that will shake the very foundations of their lives.

Reviewed by Literary Ladies Reading Group:

Most enjoyed this book, although it was not as good as ‘Pearl Earring’. Some irritation with method of retelling same incident from point of view of several people; this seems commonly used device at the moment.

Star rating: ***

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10 thoughts on “Falling angels by Tracy Chevalier”

  1. Review by Petersfield U3A reading group:
    This book provoked some lively discussion. A good insight into the period. Informative about the suffragette movement and the Edwardian way of death.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Museum Book Group:
    An enjoyable, easy read. We found the details of mourning, graveyard arrangement and management most interesting attitudes to death. The social interaction between the two families and their households at the turn of the 20th century and their aspirations. The girls and their friendship with the gravedigger boy provoked much discussion.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by U3A Book Circle 3:
    Interesting social history. Wonderful insight into the Victorian attitude to mourning and death. Characters well drawn with interesting contrast of class. This was one of the few books which everyone enjoyed!
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Bridewell Beauties reading group:
    Worth reading. Characters not sufficiently well drawn. Setting in the graveyard and the children’s relationship with it were central and interesting. Story sympathetically told from different viewpoints was a strength.
    Star rating: 2+

  5. Review by Ladies of an Age reading Group:
    Not as good as her other books (for those who had read them!), but an easy read and quite interesting to learn about the suffragettes and their work. We liked the narrative from all the characters, but felt that they could have shown more emotion in parts.
    Star rating: ***

  6. Review by Lymington WI reading group:
    Easy read, written in sound bites. Interesting the different reactions and responses to the same circumstances by the different families and the manipulative influence of Lavinia on those around.
    Star rating: ***

  7. Review by Readers for Pleasure reading group:
    Once we ‘got into it’ we all really enjoyed and found it very descriptive of an era none of us had experienced. Particularly with reference to the male dominance, suffragettes and mourning. We also enjoyed the sharing of characters’ thoughts i.e. relating their individual stories.
    Star rating: ***

  8. Review by King’s Somborne reading group:
    Half the group thought the book very convincing. All thought it well researched and an enjoyable read. Will make an excellent film.
    Star rating: **

  9. Slow to get into but 5/7 really enjoyed it. We liked each chapter focusing on individual characters giving their voice to each situation as it arose. We on the whole recommend it.

  10. Review by Tuesday Crew
    The group enjoyed the book. We felt it was quite a light read. The storyline about the suffragette movement was very interesting although we felt that not all the characters were believable.
    Star rating: ***

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