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Falling Angels.

Tracy Chevalier. 2001. Read by Anne Twomey. 6 tapes, 7.75 hrs. HighBridge Audio. 1-56511-507-4. $34.95. Cardboard; plot, reader notes. SA

Two families of different social classes are brought together by the friendship of their young daughters, Maud Coleman and Lavinia Waterhouse, in London at the turn of the century just after Queen Victoria's death. The story is told in many voices: the girls, their parents, two servants in the upper-class Coleman household, a gravedigger boy in the cemetery where the children love to play, and Maud's grandmother The narrative switches constantly among the characters. Rather than attempting to act out the various roles and make the presentation choppy, Twomey wisely chooses to give a smooth but expressive reading emphasizing the integration and flow of the plot. Her voice is clear, rich, and pleasing. Maud is intellectual and spirited as well, while Lavinia is obsessed with the niceties of dress and decorum.

The character development, aided by the excellent narration, is enthralling, the plot absorbing, and the setting vivid. The instances of sex, abortion, child molestation, and murder are handled discreetly; and the turmoil of changing times is tellingly portrayed. Pat Dole, Richmond, VA
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Author:Dole, Pat
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:May 1, 2002
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