Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Angel’s Cut by Elizabeth Knox


Vintner’s Luck was a book that I really enjoyed reading.  It’s a wonderful story that juxtaposes love for a woman against the love/lust for a man/angel in the evocative and mysterious setting of a French vineyard.  I have seen a preview of this year’s movie version and was once again reminded of the story’s mix of passion,  love and ambition.
I do enjoy Elizabeth Knox’s writing, especially when she writes about fantastical ideas and beings.  The Vintner’s Luck and her new book The Angel’s Cut both mix fantasy and reality in beautiful, well crafted stories.  Knox deftly grapples with understanding the complex challenges of what it is to be angel rather than human.   This thorough understanding permeates the books and allows the characters to be seen true and complete.

This new book, The Angel’s Cut, reintroduces us to angel Xas during World War 1, where we find him working for a German surveillance team in an Airship.  His brother Lucifer tracks him down though and he is forced to move on.  We meet Xas again in 1920’s Los Angeles, the setting for the bulk of this story.  LA is a city of aviation, movies, egos and some real people with whom Xas’ immortal life entwines.  Knox deftly introduces us to her characters, their strengths and weaknesses and their inner selves.  We meet a burns victim who is a brilliant film editor, anaesthetizing her life with drink, a coloured female pilot who dreams of starting a flying school to help her people back home in Texas and two egotistical film makers for whom filmic fantasy is their only safe reality. The story expands and entwines these lives for us in a moving and sensitive way. 

Like The Vintner’s Luck, Knox’s new book engrossed me and got in the way of tasks such as making dinner or doing the dishes.  I couldn’t willingly put the book down.  And now its just a few weeks until I can properly revisit the first book at the movies!

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