From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Readers who overlook the uninviting title will be treated to a thoroughly original take on a familiar literary conceit. Margot Delacroix is dead as the story opens, but has become a guardian angel named Ruth, sent back to guard herself reliving her life, following the four rules of guardian angelhood: witness, protect, record, love. Ruth can affect what Margot does, a little. The life that unfolds, or re-unfolds, is harsh and filled with bad choices, but Ruth is there to give protection and nudges that may-or may not-be followed. Ruth is particularly anxious to better understand why her/Margot's teenage son ended up in jail for murder, and she sees a chance to make a difference, at great cost. Debut novelist Jess-Cooke, who lives in England, is a lovely writer; Ruth's narrative voice is compelling. The writer's fertile imagination generates a host of minor characters throughout Margot's life, all of whom have well-characterized guardian angels interacting with Ruth. The interplay of the planes of angelic and earthly existence is an insistent tease that reels the reader in and along. Jess-Cooke is one to watch. (Apr.)
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About the Author
was born in Belfast, Ireland, and is now a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria. She lives in Gateshead, England, with her husband and three children.