Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A time of Angels - Patricia Schonstein

A triangle - two men who love the same woman, one her lover, one her husband, and friends since childhood.  And when that woman is seduced by her lover into leaving her husband, things start to go wrong, little by little.  Add to that the arrival of Lucifer in answer to a spell gone wrong when Primo attempts to get his wife back and you can see that this is not your ordinary story.  Pasquale, the baker, sausagemaker and cook; owner of a small but successful cafe in an Italian enclave in Capetown, South Africa, loves Beatrice, and was her lover before she accepted the proposal of marriage by Primo, who is a magician and soothsayer.  Primo has always loved Beatrice - since childhood - and marriage makes him whole.  He's not too worried about Pasquale, who has many lovers.  Why should the removal of one make any difference?

Set not too long ago in modern Capetown, but in a part of town few might recognise, this is a beautifully odd tale with a moral ending, written in a flowing and poetic style, which for that alone makes it worth the read.  Also worth it to hear about Lucifer (the light holder), who far from being the devil we know, has a specific and very hard job to do.  So when Primo conjures him up whilst casting a spell over Pasquale to pay him back for stealing his wife, things soon go awry, and other people are affected, in ways they don't understand.

 Lucifer's explanation of God took my breath away, especially as Lucifer's specific job was a knock-on effect of human-kind's warring ways.  So don't be put off if you come across this short novel, read to the end.  Enjoy.