Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Angel Makers - Book Review

Sari is a young apprentice to the local midwife in an isolated Hungarian village when the men, including her fiance, are called away to fight in World War I. For most of the women, who have arranged marriages, having their husbands away is a relief. Before long many of the women, including Sari, begin relationships with the Italian prisoners that are kept at a nearby POW camp. But the war ends and the consequences must be faced. The Italian men leave and the village men return. However, the women are not ready to return to the repressed and abused lives they lived before the war.

Desperate to escape her cruel fiance, Sari uses poison to slowly end his life. An abused friend and then another ask Sari for help and soon the village and Sari are engulfed in a macabre conspiracy of murder.

The Angel Makers by Jessica Gregson is a novel based on a true story. During the years following World War I as many as 300 people were murdered in the village before investigators from outside finally figured out what was really happening. In her novel, Gregson, elaborating on the known facts, shows a decidedly human view of the story--at once sympathetic and outrageous.

As much an ethical discussion on the value of life and of personal choice, The Angel Makers is a mesmerizing and horrifying novel. Like many who met her, I found myself entranced by the character of Sari and I appreciated the descriptions of the village and the life.

My only complaint with the novel was the excessive use of foul language.

**I received a free copy of The Angel Makers in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.


Mom of 12 said...

I am offended by foul language too. And it really doesn't help the story along either. Thanks for the great review!

Jane said...

The book made a comparison to the killings by the women to the killings done in a war. Are the wartime killings any more justified because they have been established as done for a "good cause"? Jane