Angel Landing by Alice Hoffman


Natalie is a social worker whose romance is going nowhere. Her boyfriend Carter is head of a group of activists, and although he’s lovely, he frequently gets too caught up in changing the world to have time for her. When she follows him to the small town of Angel Landing, she moves in with her ageing Russian aunt, and tries to make things work, but an explosion at the local power plant brings her in touch with the man responsible, a man who needs her help. But Natalie finds herself falling for her client.

It’s a good book, with a full cast of mad cap characters, from the eccentric aunt to the boarder who is building a raft in her basement, each one quite well realised. Carter is excellent, because he’s a good guy, not the normal bad boyfriend who the new love interest rescues the heroine from. Natalie herself is sort of sweet and unfocused, which I liked. She’s a nice person. The book really shines in the parts where Finn, “the bomber”, opens up to her about his life. His sense that everything is inevitable and that he is trapped in his fathers plan for him is really interesting, and I think a lot of people can relate to that.

In a lot of ways, the book is about what we’re afraid of, and what we want to commit to. Each character is afraid, and there is the possibility that choosing a path and sticking to it might not work out. But isn’t that what life is all about? It’s an odd little book, but really interesting, enjoyable and poignant.

Read It If: you like stories about families and figuring out your past, with a dash of romance too.

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