Freitag, 7. Januar 2011

Arthur Phillips: Angelica

ANGELICA is the third book by Arthur Phillips (2007) - and the first one I've ever read by him.

In a nutshell:

Victorian London. When Angelica is four years old her father Joseph Barton billets her out of the parental sleeping room and claims the fulfilment of marital duty by his wife Constance - who was (after several miscarriages ) told that she could die when she becomes pregnant again.
Than strange things happen: A blue ghost who comes up to Angelica is seen by Constance - and his intentions are not innocent. Can Anne Montague - a specialist in occultism - help? Has Joseph anything to do with this? Or is Constance going mental?

This was a very fast read - because it was extremely captivating: The story is first told like Constance is seeing it, than Anne's view follows. After that you read how Joseph experiences these events - and at least you'll read Angelica's view. The whole novel is written like a statement given to a doctor - but you'll find out pretty late, who is talking.

There are some - in the truest sense of the word - victorian views - some things we would nowadays find sexist and racist.

Like: Every woman is latently crazy - and only a man can stem that. And you're crazy when you're talking to cats. (I discussed that with my two cats - and they find that this is silly, too.)

This book is not as spine-chilling as I have thought that it would be - but it's really tragic in some parts. I got to confess when my lights suddenly started to flutter (loose contact) and the wind started to sough at the same time.. - well, it was a pretty good timing!

It's a surprising plot - every time the view changes the story will get a perfect new meaning. I loved that. In the end you should not expect to get a straight conclusion - and that's fine with me.

I could count this book to my first book of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge - but I started to read it before I joined that challenge - so this will count as a warm up book. :")

Here are the German covers:

(this is for the hardcover edition)

(this is for the paperback)

This time I like the German covers very much.


  1. The German covers are far more beautiful! The book sounds intriguing, thanks for the review. I too talk to my cats and get far more sense out of them than most others I know.....:-)

  2. Hihi - thanks AuntieWeaze! :") (and: give our regards to your cats!)

    I just learned that the German hardcover edition cover is on a English paperback version too. ;")

  3. The covers for this book are beautiful! The book sounds like my kind of read . Thanks for the review! Added to my TBR!

  4. You're very welcome, Misha! I am eager to read your opinion - and I hope you'll like it. :")


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