A portrait of a life-changing summer at childhood’s end, Angels in the Morning, a tale told with an elegance and grace reminiscent of a Monet landscape, in turn both warms the heart and breaks it. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Gabriel, one is transported into the countryside not too far from Paris. In many ways a young woman and in other ways still a child, Gabriel has read Middlemarch and Anna Karenina, but doesn’t quite know what to make of her own father’s quiet announcement that while he still loves Gabriel’s mother, he’s also in love with another woman. As the adults that populate her world busy themselves with his or her own concerns, Gabriel, with her deaf sister Alex lock stepped behind her, tries to understand them all; her busybody great-aunt Ethel; her dumpy-but-proud English nanny, Juliet (who pines for the swarthy, suave, and married Spaniard, Luis); her confused Mummy not yet thirty; Xavier the family’s summer neighbor, a psychologist, who’s willing to make plenty of time for Mummy; and Gabriel’s best friend, her very wise, very rich, and too late, she will learn, very ill Granny. With an artist’s eye, Sasha Troyan limns every page with the colors, sounds, and smells of the French countryside while masterfully interweaving her compelling tale. A story of childhood that recalls the precision of language of Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and a memory of childhood reminiscent of Mary Karr’s memoir The Liar’s Club, Angels in the Morning is a remarkable literary achievement that merits a place alongside them both.
- Kirkus Reviews[+]"Troyan’s fine debut features a spunky ten-year-old forced to grow up before her time. The charm and innocence of the storytelling makes a substantial contribution to a moving, beautifully crafted novel."
- Publishers Weekly[+]Ten-year-old Gabriel spends a fateful summer with her Parisian family in the French countryside and learns more than she ever wanted about the vagaries of adult relationships. It’s an old story, but Troyan tells it particularly well, capturing a wealth of subtle details—social and sensual, heartbreaking and funny—through Gabriel’s eyes."
- San Francisco Chronicle[+]"Gabriel’s devotion to her mother, her impatience with her sister, how much she misses her grandmother—it all comes through, along with a wealth of simple detail that needs no justification save the way it tethers the story to lived, believable experience."
- James Lasdun, author of The Horned Man[+]"A work of real grace and beauty, poised delicately between the light shed by its narrator’s innocent eye and the encroaching darkness of adult experience."
- Lily Tuck, National Book Award winner[+]"A lovely and evocative novel."
- Margot Livesey[+]"A vivid, passionate novel, urgently imagined, richly peopled, psychologically acute and thoroughly suspenseful. But above all a novel of unusual, shimmering beauty, one in which every sentence is a delight."
- Poets and Writers[+]"A compulsive, all-in-one-sitting sort of read."
- Alice Elliot Dark[+]"Sasha Troyan casts a strange, beautiful spell, writing with an elegant simplicity that keeps the verdant French countryside ever before the reader’s eyes. A moving story of a summer of change in the life of a family who are, engagingly, both familiar and exotic."