Friday, 23 February 2018

Angel - Elizabeth Taylor



Angel  For me a perfect little novel, only 240+ pages.  The story of an inverted snob, brought up by a single mother above a small grocers’ shop, who dreams of wonder, riches, romance and a “nice” home.  Starting at the end of the 19th century,   the book swiftly covers WW1 and WW2 without saying much about either (unless it concerns her).  Her first novel is published when she is  15.  The first publisher returned it quickly with a rejection slip;  the second publisher  thought it so funny he decided to publish.  But to Angel,  it wasn’t funny at all, but  a “bodice-ripper” in which she uses wrong phrases and words, and describes things she knows nothing of.  She will publish more books like the first, will gain an army of fans, she will make money, she will  fulfil her dreams – but she will never be happy  And she has the sharpest tongue imaginable.  Extremely dislikeable but a wonderful character to read.

There are a multiplicity of paperback covers available via Amazon, but I chose thise because it felt "right" (even though Angel never used a typewriter). I certainly didn't like Virago's 2008 cover - they were doing a whole set with close-up photographs - I guess to make them fresh, but I dislike every single one I have seen.  Your choice!  And of course the book is the thing, and one should never judge a book by it's cover.........