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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • 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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jan Durkin
  • Bethel Park, PA United States
  • 02-19-05

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Loretta
  • Cedar Park, TX, United States
  • 11-15-03

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jon
  • St. Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 02-25-10

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not her best effort...

The main word that kept coming to mind while listening to this book was "weak". The characters are flat and one dimensional, and Chevalier cannot seem to decide which topics to focus on. The end of the oppressive Victorian Era, class distinctions at the turn of the century, The suffragette Movement, A girl's coming of age, infidelity - and sexual depravity were all included here. Sadly by attempting to tackle so much she ends up covering none of them well.
This story just ends up shallow, dull and with a plot that disolves rather than concludes.
Bottom line, this is simply not Tracy Chevalier's best work.
Audible side note: why the narrator chosen for this story opted to read it with an American accent is a mystery to me. The entire story and its characters takes place in England, but it may as well have been Columbus. I found this to be very disappointing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Solid Angels

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barb
  • Pullman, WA, United States
  • 09-14-13

An absorbing read

Falling Angels is the story of two young girls who meet in a London cemetery where their families' graves are next to each other. The story follows them as they change, their friendship changes, their families change and history is made. The women's suffrage movement takes one of the girls' mothers from an education-but-bored mother to a leader in the movement, and the girls are carried along by her discontent with her life, and the comparison to the other girl's mother. It's a story of contrasts, of growth and of the power of change. I enjoyed it very much, a pleasant surprise.

  • Overall


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.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful