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A Matrix of Angels Paperback – April 30, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing style used in this book is fantastic. The idea of oscillating back and forth between present day and the past helps inform the reader why the main character (Frances) is the kind of adult she is. It is a murder mystery that isn't such a mystery since we know who do know who committed the crime. It reminds me a lot of "The Bridge to Terabithia" in that we get tons of character development and then suddenly this one character is just...gone. The drop off is quick and hard to adjust to and one gets the impression that this is how children feel when loss occurs. The ending took my breath away. Fantastic!
If you're looking for a murder mystery, "A Matrix of Angels" really isn't one; we know the murderer's identity before the book is half-over. Instead, "A Matrix of Angels" is the touching story of a friendship between two lonely, unhappy little girls, a friendship doomed by circumstances beyond their control, and also the story of how Frances finally faces the inner demons that have tortured her for thirty years. Throughout the book, Conlon demonstrates his impressive abilities of tight plotting, sharp dialogue and empathetic insight into the minds of his characters. As a bonus, Conlon includes the original short story that eventually grew into the novel. The story is fine, but the novel is better, and demonstrates what a few of us already know--that Conlon deserves to be far better known than he is.
While superficially a success, Frances' life is in shambles. In revisiting a life-changing and traumatic time that she has long repressed , she is able to understand the events that led to her current situation. Going through this, Frances is almost practicing self-psycho-therapy, which will possibly set her on the road to a better place. Going through this exercise with Frances, the reader may glean some insights into human nature; the novel gives us a better understanding about how past events can both inspire us in positive ways and drag us down if we let them.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **