Select one of the keywords
Angels Crest    by Leslie Schwartz order for
Angels Crest
by Leslie Schwartz
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Leslie Schwartz deftly weaves the story of a cast of individuals from different backgrounds in a town called Angels Crest. Each is affected by the tragic death of three-year-old Nate. Reflecting on the pain in their own pasts and facing their own truths, town residents are brought together in a time of adversity. Ethan Denton has gained custody of his three-year old son Nate. One early morning they travel to the California Sierras. Rather than waking Nate, Ethan takes a few moments for a closer look at deer in a field. Upon returning to the vehicle, he finds the door open and Nate gone. Ethan faces charges of 'negligent homicide' and a lifetime torment of his loss.

Alcohol is the constant companion of Cindy, Ethan's ex-wife and Nate's mom. Angie is bringing up her granddaughter Rosie, abandoned by daughter Rachel. Glick served six years for a crime he did not commit, with no apologies from the prosecutors for wrongful imprisonment. Jane knew in her teens that she was gay and married a man to hide it. From that union came a son she deserted in infancy. Now twenty-years-old, George contacts Jane and arrives with his pregnant friend Melody. Jane's lesbian partner Rocksan is embittered by memories of her father's abandonment, leaving a mother in poverty and alone to raise two girls. Judge Jack Rosenthal (a recent widower) mourns his loss. He is tormented by memories of son Marty, who has chosen a life of drug and alcohol. The judge awakens one morning to find Marty in the house, stealing the jewelry box and a coin collection.

Angels Crest is about more than the death of a three-year-old child. Schwartz delicately defines each cast member - who they are, how they think and feel - and blends in beautiful descriptions, 'a ceiling of pine and snow ... woven carpets of arctic willow ... glowered above the clouds.' It's a story that lingers and is not easily forgotten, one that focuses on the complexity of experiences in the eye of tragedy - a coming together of intense emotions from each person's private life, and the communion of heart and mind in helping each other.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews