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Each Angel Burns Paperback – December 1, 2009

32 customer reviews

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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

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

Somewhat reminiscent of Sue Monk Kidd's The Mermaid Chair, Each Angel Burns is a story of relationships and turning points among a group of friends who have reached their fiftieth birthdays...What unfolds is a love story, a romance, really, in which even the minor characters must take stock of their lives and decide where to go from here... Resonant with vivid imagery and inner struggles, Each Angel Burns shows that the journey of self-discovery does not end in adolescence. - You're History Modern Lit Blog

From the Back Cover

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 (added by author)


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Parlez-Moi Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978594037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978594039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Nachlinger on 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 By Frank O' on 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 By Sunshine on January 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
"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 By Keryl Raist on 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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