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Each Angel Burns: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Kathleen Valentine
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $13.01 (77%)

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God Help the Child
A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

Book Description

(Novel - 123k words. Contemporary Fiction/Suspense - Paperback or eBook)) In the latter part of the 19th century the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel was built on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a peninsula in Maine. From its earliest days there were rumors of strange activity there --- tunnels through the cliff were reported to give access for smugglers, a miracle-working nun was said to live there, and a group of drunken lumberjacks who stormed the convent to kidnap wives claimed to have been vanquished by a giant angel with a flaming spear. One hundred years later, when the last of the old cloistered nuns was removed to a retirement home, the decision was made to close and sell the convent. That's when it was discovered that the convent's treasure, a marble statue of the Archangel Gabriel by Italian sculptor Giovanni Dupré, was missing. 
     In Ripley Mills, Massachusetts the self-titled "wild bunch", who played football together back in high school, gather every Thursday for dinner and beer. More than thirty years have passed and the group isn't what it used to be. Charlie's new female boss is young, pretty, and intimidating. Whitey's wife has cancer, Bull's wife just found out about his affair with an exotic dancer, and Vinnie can't get women to go out with him. Gabe's three daughters have grown up and his wife is making life miserable. Peter doesn't have those problems, he's a Jesuit priest. But they still get together every week to drink, eat, and listen to one anothers' problems. Then Father Peter makes a startling revelation, he had once been in love with a girl he met in Paris. He planned to leave the seminary to marry her but she rejected him to marry an older, wealthy man. Pete is happy as a priest teaching at Boston College but now Maggie has returned. She is leaving her husband and has purchased an old, abandoned convent in Maine that she plans to convert to a sculpture studio. 
      On Pete's recommendation Gabe takes the job of helping Maggie to restore the convent. But, as winter closes in, the mysteries begin again. Stories are circulating about bodies of young women washing up on the shore. Maggie's husband refuses to answer her calls. Gabe's cantankerous father, Mick, tells him the truth about his mother who had once longed to be a nun in that convent. Ethan Darling, the local sheriff, is snooping around. Zeke, Gabe's dog, discovers a secret passage in the crypt under the chapel. 
     And Father Peter realizes that Maggie is falling in love with his oldest friend. Each Angel Burns is the story of three people at crossroads in their lives. It is a story of enduring friendship, of faith, of great evil and greater love --- and of how they culminate in a miracle. (Also available in Boxed Set with The Old Mermaid's Tale and Depraved Heart for Kindle only.)
      Who, if I cried, would hear me, of the angelic orders? or even supposing that one should suddenly carry me to his heart - I should perish under the pressure of his stronger nature. For beauty is only a step removed from a burning terror we barely sustain, and we worship it for the graceful sublimity with which it disdains to consume us. Each angel burns. - Ranier Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Editorial Reviews


Somewhere in the heavenly ethers, Daphne DuMaurier, and the Bronte sisters, must be applauding Kathleen Valentine. She has written an epic, gothic, mystery/ love story that is a glowing tribute to their classic works, replete with chivalric romance, repressed sexuality, a deconsecrated abbey, haunted crypts, missing statues and bodies, and the abiding supernatural. They say a great book changes us, makes us question our way of thinking. When I finished the novel I realized that, after years of disbelieving, I've changed my mind. I DO believe in miracles. - KIANA DAVENPORT, Author Shark Dialogues

From the Inside Flap

The story itself was absorbing, but it was the good writing that had me so entranced. Dialogue was superb, descriptions skillful and lovely. The characters were colorful and interesting, ranging from an artist to a carpenter to a priest; the types of folks one would love to have in their circle of friends. And then there was Zeke, one of the most adorable and endearing dogs it has ever been my pleasure to meet. Each Angel Burns is a perfect Boomer book about middle-aged individuals muddling through their lives and struggles as best they can...- Boomers and Books Blog

Product Details

  • File Size: 661 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Parlez-Moi Press (December 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YK45UK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Plot and Characters With Depth May 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Each Angel Burns is one of the most meaningful, compelling books I've read in a long time. Rather than skim over the inner lives of her middle-aged characters, Kathleen Valentine goes deeper and reveals the worries, fears, doubts, and joys of the realistic people in her story. The three main characters (Maggie the sculptor, Gabe the artist/artisan, and Pete the priest) all have a history of good and bad decisions, all of which are believable and completely logical within the story line. Their flaws make them who they are. The love scenes are poignant, focusing more on the characters' emotions than on who's doing what; and the mystery that threads its way through the tale adds another element. I wasn't quite certain that the person I'd identified as the murderer would be the one after all. That, along with my interest in the fate of the characters, kept me entertained to the end.
I recommend Each Angel Burns as an enjoyable book that will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting Values January 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book over the course of two snowy days in Virginia. I had just visited Maine and Massachusetts where this novel is set, so I was ripe for the accents of these characters.

The book revealed a lot to me about Catholic spirituality. It is the first book I've read with a specifically Catholic ethos. Issues of faith, enacting one's values, the meaning of virginity, sacrificial love, friendship, loyalty are all given scope here. When these characters move from their inner commitments, their manifestation is love rather than deprivation. I lived along with each character (and there are many), and gradually understood their actions. Tender love making is a joy to experience and to read. That too is part of this novel. Ms. Valentine's atmospheric novel raises many ideas and I think they will keep perking inside me for a good while.

Ann Martyn
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PERSISTENCE OF ROMANCE January 12, 2010
"I caught this wisp of an old love song," my friend said, "and I was lifted right out of time. Suddenly, I was dancing with a man long gone, afloat in the rapture of a moment long passed. I was stunned that those feelings were still in me, so many years later." My friend's remark brought to mind a book I had just read, "Each Angel Burns," by Kathleen Valentine.

Valentine has the ability to convey the spectrum of love and passion, from gentle ripples to sweeping tides, tossing up on the shore of memory our own deepest feelings. Her characters are full-blown adults whose graying hair does not signify a dulling of openness but instead a mature capacity to embrace the richness and complexity of romance in the third trimester of life.

Valentine has a gift for capturing the nuances of men falling in love and questioning their long-held values. The men in her story are each unique -- from the dutiful Gabe to his irreverent father, Mick, and from the brutish Sinclair, to the handsome, elusive priest, Peter. Each man fascinates in his own singular way.

The back-story behind the romance is a taunting mystery with dark secrets, betrayal, infidelity and murder. Steeped in gothic Catholic ambience that includes a crumbling crypt, an ancient convent and a statue of the Archangel Gabriel that holds the answer to a mystery, "Each Angel Burns" is a love story that propels the reader to a satisfying (and surprising) finale.

I am a big fan of Valentine. Her latest book is my favorite -- so far, at least.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Read December 11, 2011
By Vicki Z
Overall, I thought this book had some you really good things going for it and a few things that detracted from it. I thought the premise was interesting, it was written quite well with great description and the characters were well developed. I maintained an interest throughout the whole story.

There were many instances in which flashbacks were unclear, the murder mystery was a bit under-developed and when it was solved, I almost forgot it was part of the story. I also felt that the very strong religious overtones and the very strong sexual overtones did not quite fit so well in the same novel.

It was a solid 3 star read for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Angel Burns September 16, 2011
By Anne
If you like mystery and romance, if you appreciate character development and a New England setting, if you like surprises...this book is definitely worth reading. Author Kathleen Valentine already had me wanting to "connect the dots" with her opening epigraph from Rilke. Her sensory descriptions of the landscape and its people made me feel as if I was there among the characters in her book. Don't expect an ending "tied in a bow" - the book does not insult its readers with a trite, neat ending. Treat yourself to a sense of this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indie Book Review: Each Angel Burns February 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I ended up reading Each Angel Burns by Kathleen Valentine because of the debate as to whether or not it was a "Catholic" novel. A while back it was reviewed on a Catholic fiction site and the reviewer didn't think it was much of a Catholic novel. This resulted in some discussion and controversy. Now, while it's true that I'm not wildly qualified to judge this, I'm not any sort of literary scholar, I do know basic Catholic theology and I like to read. So onto the To Be Read list it went. Months later, I'm adding my two cents to the pot.

But before we get into that, let's talk about it as just a novel.

As a novel it is elegant and graceful, with characters I enjoyed and a writing style that mirrored the gentle souls of the main characters.

The story line is... meandering... and honestly I could have handled a few less detours from the main plot. None of them are terrible or badly written, but one in particular made me want to yell, "No, Valentine...the main plot, stick to the main plot!" I truly enjoyed these characters and wanted to spend time with them, but by the time we were reaching the climax of the story, the fine eddies of extra storyline were getting on my nerves.

Almost all of the main action takes place in flashbacks. And once again, they aren't badly written, but they do add a distance from the events, and I would have liked the immediacy of going through most of the main plot points first hand. One of the flashbacks I completely understand, and fully see it's value. But most of the rest of them followed the pattern of the main story moving ahead a day or two, then one of the characters would remember the night before. In that sort of case, there wasn't much need for the flashback.

It's a little rough on the proofreading front.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Each Angel Burns
I have read a few of Kathleen Valentine books and I'm never disapointed with her work. I love how she weaves a good story and keeps you guessing about her characters.
Published 12 months ago by Beach Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Miracles and angels
I found this book to be filled with a lesson in faith! Having no doubt that Kathleen would bring the story full circle! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Vanessa Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but really close
This is one of my exceedingly rare five star books.

What makes a perfect book? I know. There is a multitude of answers, and none of them, taken alone, could possibly... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Maggie Mae
I've read several of Kathleen Valentine's books because I enjoy the characters, her descriptive narrative setting the scenes and most of all how she eventually connects it all... Read more
Published on March 17, 2013 by marta's art
3.0 out of 5 stars A good New England read
Goodreads Description- In the latter part of the 19th century the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel was built on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a peninsula in Maine. Read more
Published on December 31, 2012 by Regina Niesen
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to love it, but didn't.
I found the premise of the book intriguing. I love that she used older characters; I wasn't as sure about the heaping pile of religion that came with this book. Read more
Published on September 16, 2012 by Lauren
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ
Interesting characters, great settings, and many twists and turns, and eventually a satisfying conclusion is what this book has to offer. I would highly recommend it. Read more
Published on September 6, 2012 by Pueblo Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Entertaining
First off, I will say up front that I am also an author so that no one thinks I am hiding that fact. I heard about this book on kindleboards. Read more
Published on June 16, 2012 by Love Me Some Fiction
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read...
I was pretty sure from what I'd seen about this book on various reader threads that I was going to enjoy it, so I saved it to begin reading on a flight from Canada to Australia. Read more
Published on February 17, 2012 by Sharon Tillotson
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I did not like this book. It was well written and had a good development of characters, however, the storyline did not flow well. Read more
Published on January 21, 2012 by Pamela
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More About the Author

Kathleen Valentine is the award-winning author of four novels, many novellas & short stories, books of knitting patterns, & a cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. She has been listed as an Amazon Top Selling Author in Horror and in Mystery/Suspense. As a writer her primary interest is delving into the psychology of her characters. Her stories are sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, usually romantic, and frequently frightening. Her characters range from lost children and grumpy old folks, to mysterious men and women who are not to be trifled with.

She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport.

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