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Falling Angels  By  cover art

Falling Angels

By: Tracy Chevalier
Narrated by: Anne Twomey
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Publisher's summary

An elegant, daring, original, and compelling novel, set against a gaslit backdrop of social and political turbulence in early 20th-century London, Falling Angels draws a picture of family life that exposes the prejudices and flaws of a changing time.  

In January 1901, two families become inextricably linked when their daughters meet in a fashionable London cemetery. Separated by social class as well as taste, the Waterhouses cling to traditions while the Colemans look ahead to a more modern society. As the girls grow up and the nation emerges from the shadows of oppressive Victorian values, one woman's bid for greater personal freedom has disastrous consequences, changing the lives of both families forever.

Don't miss Chevalier's surprise best seller and book club favorite Girl with a Pearl Earring.

©2001 Tracy Chevalier (P)2001 HighBridge Company

Critic reviews

"Chevalier again proves herself an astute observer of a social era...[she] shows imaginative skill in two neatly accomplished surprises, and the denouement packs an emotional wallop." (Publishers Weekly)

"[Twomey's narration is] a quiet tour de force that makes this intriguing tale enthralling." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Falling Angels

Average customer ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KB
  • 03-18-03

Haunting Historical

I love historical fiction! This story is definately worth the listen/read. I had a real sense of how life differed in the previous century's turn. The characters are very believable. If you took a time machine back, you'd meet one of them. A Victorian era author could not have told the tale better.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Accents

I'm not sure what's more irritating..having an American reader for a book set in Victorian London or having an American reader make excruciating attempts at an English accent.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perception is everything.

The view of life from the numerous and varied percpectives was done brilliantly. The author gives personal and accurate glimpses of humanity through the eyes of different classes, generations, and values, holding the listener's attention at every turn. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Completely ruined by the reader

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Seriously, a book set in Victorian London is read by someone who sounds like they are from middle America? I don't get it. And the book is so slow, I can't tell where it's going. I just can't stand to hear any more.

Would you ever listen to anything by Tracy Chevalier again?

I liked Remarkable Creatures, so I got two more books by the same author, they were both awful.

How could the performance have been better?

A British person reading it?

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

All three of those

Any additional comments?

You should state when the reader is reading a book set in England, with English characters, in an American accent. Agatha Christie novels don't have someone reading Hercule Poirot's voice in an American accent, why does this one? I want my money back!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Life in Victorian Times

The author provides a vivid description of life for women during victorian times from the lowly servants to the upper class. An interesting "listen" and I couldn't wait to get back to it.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong narrator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, but not this audible edition because the American accent totally destroys the atmosphere of the book which is set in London, England.

What did you like best about this story?

The details of life at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anne Twomey’s performances?

Not unless it was an American setting for the book, but even then I'd be wary as I don't like her 'breathless' delivery.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

Ms. Chevalier excels at character development, and her considerable talents are put to good use in this book. The story line is a little thin, but that is compensated by a cast of richly developed characters, each with their own voice. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at English Victorian society through a variety of perspectives.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid Angels

An intruiguing and unusual view of a turn-of-the-century English household and neighborhood. The characters are surprising and convincing.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfectly Titled

This is historical fiction that book ends the burials of (hot mama) Queen Victoria, and (the ultimate adulterer) King Edward VII. A 10 year interval.

It was a time of veiled human desires, and the beginning of progressive 20th century change.

The book is written in an oral history format. Each of the characters give their versions of events to create a story that is riveting. One you cannot wait to continue.

The title says it all.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful love letter to Highgate Cemetery

I just visited Highgate Cemetery and read this as an accompaniment to that visit. It was wonderful to picture the cemetery at its prime. The characters are interesting and the fascinating historical references fit perfectly. Lovely book!

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