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Crescent Blues Book ViewsHarper Torch (Paperback), ISBN 0-06-000803-2

Maggie Walsh's life collapses around her suddenly. A slip of the tongue reveals her husband's infidelity. A few days later, her employer declines to renew her contract. For the first time in her life, Maggie finds herself disappointing her parents.

Book: marian keyes, angels
Her three sisters usually caused the trouble and grief. One married and turned up pregnant at a young age, one can't stick to a career, and one struggled with drug and alcohol addictions. Through all that, Maggie's steadfastness and reliability anchored the family. But now Maggie drifts about her parents' house, grieving deeply for her marriage and lost job.

After a phone call from her best friend Emily, Maggie packs up and heads from Ireland to Los Angeles for a change of scenery. Emily, a screenwriter, needs some moral support because her life seems to be crumbling as well. In the middle of a long dry spell, Emily fears she never will sell a script and end up moving back to Ireland. To combat her own devils, Emily drags Maggie back out into society.

Now feeling her independence, Maggie begins to stretch herself, but finds her emotions still tender. She wants more from a one night stand, experiments with lesbianism and drinks far too much too often (though not to the point of alcoholism). But when both an old flame and her family show up in LaLaLand, and Maggie finally must face up to her past and find out what she wants for her future.

On the surface, Angels appears to be a frothy chick-lit tale. Both the cover art and the back cover blurb point toward a light-hearted read. Indeed, parts of the book skip along merrily, especially when Marian Keyes skewers the superficiality of Los Angelenos and the Hollywood film industry. But underneath all that lies a surprisingly solemn and gripping tale of Maggie's past, her old flame, her husband and two miscarriages. The past weaves in with the present (in a somewhat jolting manner, however), and makes for a very satisfying read with an unexpected resolution.

Jen Foote

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