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ANGEL [Kindle Edition]

Mary E. Kingsley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $13.00 (93%)

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Book Description

Thirteen year old Angel Bishop is fed up with all the unanswered questions about her life, like why did her daddy run off when she was just a baby? And why has her Aunt Patsy, the only family member she feels she can talk to, been locked up in a place for crazy people all these years? It seems to Angel like her family fell apart right after she was born, which makes her wonder what her coming along had to do with it.

Growing up with her mother, Ruth, who is often distant and preoccupied, and her bible thumping grandmother, Naomi, Angel is certain there's more to the story than she's been told. When her father, Calvin, telephones out of the blue one evening and says he's coming home for Thanksgiving, Angel thinks her dream of having a normal family is finally going to come true. Instead, she finds herself at the center of a dangerous scenario, threatened by secrets far beyond her understanding.
Set in a small Appalachian town in the early 1970's, Angel is the compelling story of an innocent girl as the unwitting link between the two generations of her family's dark and unresolved past.

Editorial Reviews


"A winsome debut....Kingsley's eloquent prose breathes life into Angel's trials and tribulations."   Kirkus Reviews

"Mary Kingsley's ANGEL is a witty and well-written tale about a feisty young woman's coming-of-age in East Tennessee in the 1970's...Intrigued by the plot and admiring the prose, I read this book all in one sitting, unable to put it down."

-Lisa Alther, Bestselling author of Kinflicks, Blood Feud and Washed in the Blood 

Product Details

  • File Size: 631 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Little Falls Press (November 14, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0067RFD6G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Coming-of-Age Novel November 16, 2011
By Illyria
Format:Kindle Edition
Angel Bishop is 13, orange-haired (it is NOT red, thank you very much), and in many respects a fairly typical adolescent girl. She's a little more thoughtful and a little less obsessed with boys than most, but she's still dealing with all the inner turmoil of those years between innocence and the beginnings of maturity.

For Angel that turmoil is particularly acute because she's never known her daddy. She knows his name, has a picture of him, gets cards and presents from him, and she and her mama even live with her daddy's mother, Naomi; but nobody will really talk about him. The most she can get out of her mama or Naomi is that he's too busy working to come home, and everyone else in town clams up the minute Angel starts asking questions. The only person who seems to have any answers is her Aunt Patsy, but Patsy's been locked up in a mental home for years and what she says doesn't always make a lot of sense.
Then one day Angel's daddy calls to say he'll be home for Thanksgiving, and Angel's desire to have a proper family takes her on a journey that's disturbing, liberating, and nothing like what she always hoped for.

ANGEL is, in a word, lovely. Kingsley has a direct, honest style that works well to convey feeling without bathos or melodrama, and Angel is a captivating heroine. She is brave and even foolhardy at times, but beneath it all is her wholly believable desire to have the kind of family she thinks of as "normal." Kingsley has captured the hot-and-cold nature of adolescence beautifully, and keeps her protagonist always perfectly balanced between a longing for the safety of childhood and a largely unconscious drive for the self-determination of adulthood.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Delightful December 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I intended to read Angel over the course of a few weeks like I often do with works of fiction. But the Prologue drew me in, and I read the entire book in one day. Kingsley's heroine rings true as a small-town southern girl, and unlike many teen heroines, she is neither vapid nor mature beyond her years. The storyline is realistic and engaging, and Kingsley's easy writing style and pace kept me eagerly turning the pages without being tempted to skim past the details. I eagerly await her next novel! I would recommend this book for anyone interested in small-town southern culture, family dynamics, or excellent novels. If for no other reason, read Angel to learn that redheads really have orange hair!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, Not so compelling execution July 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
*Spoiler Alert*

Let me start by saying that I really do appreciate the author's efforts. Obviously, I found the premise of the book to be very interesting. If I hadn't I would never have downloaded it to my Kindle. With that being said, I find myself struggling to know what to say.

Against my better judgment I finished this book. I hate not finishing stories, even when I don't find them compelling. I find myself hoping that they will improve or teach me something valuable. Because I finished it, I will give it two stars instead of one.

Never engaging and very predictable, I found myself wanting so much more. I wanted to become immersed in the storyline. I wanted to find myself connecting on a personal level with each character. I wanted to have the desire to keep reading into the wee hours of the morning just to see what was coming and what had happened in the past. Unfortunately, none of those things ever really came to fruition for me.

In addition, there were elements that I absolutely hated. Though not overly graphic, the story includes a near assault by friends, crass references to anatomy and sexuality, descriptions from an illustrated book about sex, a hypocritical-homosexual Baptist minister, a mistreated victim and a child molester.

I am under no delusions that everyone lives happy, perfect lives. I understand, more than most , that bad things happen. I have read books that cover such heavy subjects and I have been moved deeply. However, I don't feel the writing did justice to the circumstances. For example, Angel remains friends with the two young men that nearly assaulted her--even inviting them (and their families) to a party in her home. In reality, that would never happen!

The resolution found in the final 5 paragraphs, as it should be, was the best part of this book. I only wish I had enjoyed the story as much as the conclusion.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pure delight! November 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Angel is a treasure of a story which brought me back to a period that still triggers so many fond memories. "Angel" is fun and charming with a quick sense of humor. The story pulls you in to attempt to figure out what is going to happen next. I highly recommend it for many different age groups.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching coming-of-age July 15, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Two of my favorite things about this book are the nostalgic references and southern flavor. It brings me back to younger days of Cheerwine, transistor radios, and first kisses. My teenage years were spent in East Tennessee (the setting for the story) so it enabled me to sink into sweet reminiscence as I turned each page.

The narration, told in first person from Angel's point of view, is fresh and engaging. She is witty and honest and a believable character. Actually, all the characters are credible--with redeeming qualities as well as evident shortcomings.

Orange-haired Angel Bishop (she is quite literal and doesn't like being referred to as red-haired) is an energetic thirteen-year-old with many unanswered questions concerning her family. Is it her fault Daddy ran off when she was just a baby? Why is Aunt Patsy locked up in a crazy house? Why does Mama and her grandmother, Naomi, barely tolerate each other? Why won't anybody tell her the truth?

When out of the blue, her daddy, Cal, calls and says he is coming home, she wonders if it's a good thing. Isn't this what she'd always prayed for? More questions surface and Angel sets out on a quest to find the answers. She searches for clues from the town recluse, Old Susan, and her beloved Aunt Patsy.

ANGEL is a quick and easy read (though some topics may make some readers a little uneasy) that drew me in from the first page. The dealings between Angel and her friend, Sophie, and her first boy-crush, Ray, are sincere, sometimes frustrating and always realistic. But my favorite relationship is that between Angel and Aunt Patsy. Her eccentric aunt adds a lot of humor, soul and purpose to this story.

I recommend Mary E. Kingsley's ANGEL. It is a memorable book with a powerful message and lasting effect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this coming of age tale about a young girl ...
Loved this coming of age tale about a young girl becoming a teenager and life and all that comes with it
Published 27 days ago by Missy Balmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Having read the review of this book I was disappointed. It would have...
Having read the review of this book I was disappointed. It would have been an excellent short story but it rambled on without getting to the point of the story until the last two... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book worm
5.0 out of 5 stars angel
This was a ver reverting book could not put it down, well written made me thing that I was aged 14yrs old wonderful.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Anne E. Mckay
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful!
I loved this story and the perfect perspective of a thirteen year old girl. This one will stick with me for a while
Published 7 months ago by aprilt
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I found the book disturbing.
Published 8 months ago by Anne Darnay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good!
Published 9 months ago by #6of11
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read.
Really held my interest.
Published 9 months ago by Deborah A. Rizzo
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for what it is about
So confused by low reviews on this book. I enjoyed the story. It is a coming of age story and says so in the description. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
I would recommend this book, it deals with family secrets and makes it plain that all of us have problems
With our family. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cher
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More About the Author

Mary E. Kingsley was born and raised in northeastern Tennessee, surrounded by the hills of southern Appalachia. She now lives on a small farm in Maryland, just outside Washington, DC, with her husband, two cats, two dogs, several chickens, guinea hens and honeybees. When not writing she enjoys gardening, spending time with friends and family, yoga, occasional painting, paper making, and photography. Her novel, Angel, was released in 2011. Her first novella, All the Pieces, was published on Amazon Kindle in May 2013.

Mary's blog can be found at

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