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Book Reviews of Falling Angels

Falling Angels
Falling Angels
Author: Tracy Chevalier
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ISBN-13: 9780452283206
ISBN-10: 0452283205
Publication Date: 9/24/2002
Pages: 324
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 376 ratings
Publisher: Plume Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

52 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Falling Angels on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
This book really sneaks up on you with short, sharp chapters that make you think you'll read just one more... The next thing you know, the book is finished in just one or two sittings. The characters are charming and endearing, and the story never gets mired down with irrelevant detail. It's hard to put down, and it's perfect for a quick, light read. Feel free to email with questions. ~LeAnn
reviewed Falling Angels on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This was a wonderful book. It is a 'fast read' with chapters organized as each character narrates their view of the developing story and their part in making it. Beginning in 1901, it contrasts the values at the end of the Victorian era with those developing at the opening of a new century and continues to tell its tale through the contrast of relationships, standards, and lifestyles between two well-to-do households whose daughters become best friends. True to history, the local cemetery was a more than a place to bury the deceased; it was a thriving business that testified to social standing through the location and ornamentation, and was as much a social destination for the living as a resting place for the deceased. When two girls meet over the closely placed graves of their families adjoining plots, they begin a journey from child to adulthood. Together they encounter the son of a grave digger. The relationship between these three demonstrates their youthful acceptance of circumstance. As the plot progresses, it offers lessons in social inequity, and produces the startling events that will lead each to maturity.

I chose to read this after having enjoyed reading "Girl with a Pearl Erring". Though equally interesting and highly readable, they are very different books. Ms Chevalier has demonstrated that she is no paint-by-numbers writer as she artfully weaves the creativity of a story teller with the faithfulness of an historian. I look forward to reading more of her work and whatever surprises they have in store.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Started slow, but eventually I came to be fascinated with all of the characters. Very readable and enjoyable with complex, multi-dimesional storytelling.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
After "Girl with the Pearl Earring" I definitely had high expectations, but this book is, in a different sort of way, actually better. Every chapter relates a different character's first-hand take on the events of the day, starting New Year's Day 1901 and on through 1910 - covering the period following the death of Queen Victoria through the end of the rule of her son, Edward. Sort of like "Upstairs, Downstairs" there are upper class English suffragettes, their long-suffering and befuddled husbands, conniving servants, abortionists, grave diggers that even the lower classes look down their noses on, and not-so-innocent children. Granted, I'm an unapologetic book snob, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one - and even found the final chapter to be quite touching.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
If you like historical fiction, the book captures the turn of the century England. I liked the insights into the changing mores of the era. The story is told from different characters' perspective, so you view society through different lenses. Not as a compeling story as The Girl With the Peal Ear Ring. Yet I liked the insights into the characters' lives.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Definitely my favorite book by this author. The characters are incredibly vividly depicted and realistic, and they all have their own side of the story fully explored.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I thought this book was better than the "Girl With the Pearl Earring". I got into the characters so much easier. Once I started reading, it was hard to stop.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Tracy Chevalier's Falling Angels differs from some of her other works in that it jumps from historical period to modern. The tale is cleverly woven between generations, and is very intriguing. Great book.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely LOVED this book! It takes place in Victorian England, and is told via shifting perspectives of the characters in the book. Basically, the story revolves around two families who happen to meet because their family grave plots lie next to each other. The characters are so vivid, and the story itself very interesting; Chevalier is an excellent writer. This is one book I couldn't put down until I finished it. It is a great read, and highly recommended!
reviewed Falling Angels on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Follows the fortunes of two families in the early years of the twentieth century. Very well written.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Since I consider "Girl with the Pearl Earring" one of the best books I've every read, it would be hard for Chevalier to do as well and nearly impossible for her to do better. That being said, this is an engaging book, with an interesting premise. One might have an interesting time comparing and contrasting it to Ibsen's "A Doll's House", set in roughly the same period, though in a different country. The characters are interesting enough and her writing is always excellent, but I just couldn't help comparing it the "..Girl.." and finding it lacking.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Gave me new insight to the Victorian experience and made me look at cemeteries in a whole new way. Chapters are told from different characters' perspectives. Overall, like it better than Girl With a Pearl Earring.
reading-galore avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 115 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is an interesting book about two neighboring families with young daughters living in London during the early 1900's. Its storyline revolves around women's rights and issues, and the rules regarding proper mourning. Though I thoroughly enjoyed "The Lady and the Unicorn" and "The Virgin Blue", this Tracy Chevalier book seemed less gripping, and it wasn't as sensual as her other books. I thought it was a good book just not a great one.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another great book by Chevalier. This one tells the story of a young girl as she struggles with the realities of her life in days of yore in England. The struggles of the lower class come to life.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just read this book for the second time. It is a truly a sad story of two little girls and their families during Victorian times. It is a good book because it shows the influence of Victorian ideals on the lives of two families and the frustration obviously felt by the women of the era. I recommend it.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not as good as Girl With A Pearl Earring, but still enjoyable and informative.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you are a fan of Tracy, you will enjoy this book. I definitely enjoyed it.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
By the author of Girl With A Pearl Earring, I found it not quite as interesting but still a good read.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I ordered this book after reading the reviews. I didn't know what to expect. I sat down to read it and I must say I couldn't put it down. I don't know what it is about this book. It's not earthshaking but the author portrays her characters so well that you immediately get caught up in their lives. There are so many layers to it. I think it would be an excellent book for a book club to discuss.
althea avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed Chevalier's "Girl with a Pearl Earring' so I picked this up as well.
It's a character-driven historical novel of two families, especially their daughters, who grow up as neighbors, their lives intertwining and becoming complicated through the cemetery by their homes, from the death of Victoria (1901) to the end of the Edwardian era (1910). Along the way, there's friendship, enmity, rivalry, class issues, women's suffrage, abortion, infidelity, and always, the role of death and the cemetery in this society...
Very well-written, enjoyable book.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
My copy has a list of readers and their comments on inside of cover. All raved about book. My grown daughter added her rave vote and I will have to now add mine. (I am almost at the end.) I found the book to be a fun read and unusual; I like to take it to bed. Interesting: The scene in the first chapter is...different. A way to hook the reader perhaps? (A strange man climbs out of the bed of the main, married, female character's bed...but the husband knows and approves.)
reviewed Falling Angels on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fabulous book about the transition from Victorian England at the turn of the century and the early women's rights movement. Told fromt he perspective of each character! Our book club gave it a big thumbs up!
flyheatherfly avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is quite different from her other works, and is unusual in that it is not based on a painting. It is a study of two families brought together by their daughters in a cemetary visiting their respective families deceased. One family is quite well to do, the other aspiring yet middle class and conservative. The girls grow up during the suffragette movement, and it affects their lives in good and horrible ways.

Not one of Chevaliers top works, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. It was interesting to read about post Victorian domestic life, particularly the cumbersome traditions and dress associated with mourning.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book started out a little slow, but it picked up and turned out to be quite a good book. I would recommend.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 1596 more book reviews
One of those books that you get pulled into, abit slowly at first then you are off and going. The characters are interesting and develope a certain place in everyones story. You will like the complexity of the story with out it being muddied down. A really great read.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 17 more book reviews
Another beautifully written book by Chevalier. I recommend it!
reviewed Falling Angels on + 12 more book reviews
This book follows two Victorian London girls, who meet in an unlikely place and manner, from childhood to adolescence.

My interest in the story's characters and plot really was only piqued when I was about halfway through the book- things really seemed to pick up then. Perhaps the method of narration Chevalier employs, skipping between the first-person perspectives of ten or so characters, caused a feeling of distance for me. Though it's interesting to 'hear' what each person is thinking, this method sacrifices intimacy and mystery, and therefore complexity.

Though the plot and setting were both compelling, their inherent turn of the century excitement outshines the characters, which left me with an overall feeling of superficiality.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 1596 more book reviews
Another wonderful book from Tracy Chevalier. Enjoyed the way each chapter was told from a different point of view to the story and still kept the storyline neat and on track. A great read.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 21 more book reviews
Very interesting book set in the early 1900's.
jdyinva avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 408 more book reviews
Really enjoyed the character development as well as the tight story line. Interesting period depicted. I thought this book was great.
Mixitup avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 57 more book reviews
Oh my gosh. Tracy Chevalier has done it again! An incredible story that draws you into the lives of the two main families and the experiences that pull them together and keep them apart. I was so impressed with Girl With the Pearl Earring that I had to get more by this author. Not a disappointment!
reviewed Falling Angels on
Reading this book made me realize the astounding changes and attitudes of England during the change of the century . The story is told from the main characters point of view at the same time,very interesting and riveting.I have now become a great fan of the author. Marvelous storytelling.I didn't want the story to end.
reviewed Falling Angels on
Set against a gaslit backdrop of social and political turbulence in early 20th century London,this is a picture of family life that exposes the prejudices and flaws of a changing time.
Piper avatar reviewed Falling Angels on
Ms. Chevalier's charater development makes for a most interesting read, as in all her books. Her stories are never dull and I having a problem putting the novels down when I start them. Fortunately they are quick reads.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 412 more book reviews
Not quite as good as "Girl With a Pearl Earring" but still a good book.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 27 more book reviews
Loved this book with it's bit of historical fiction in the days after Queen Victoria's death in 1901. Great story.
bookgoddessme avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 106 more book reviews
I found this book to be really entertaining. It doesn't hurt that it revolves around a time period I am obsessed with, not to mention the unexpected theme of changing Victorian funeral culture on the cusp of the new century. I liked this even better than Girl with a Pearl Earring, although it could be perceived as macabre by some, it was so much less depressing. A GREAT story with fascinating historical details. The main character of Maude is my hero! Highly recommend...
shadowtheleopard avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 11 more book reviews
I LOVED Falling Angels! At first I was turned off by the first chapterette, about someone having an affair. But if I don't keep a list of who the characters are, I get confused. I hadn't done that because I started it at the doctors office. So after awhile, I picked the book up again and kept a list and really got into it very fast! I wondered what the little girls had to do with it. Why is the cemetery so important? What's the point of this plot? What does the title mean? So began getting all excited and couldn't figure out the ending, but it made me feel good when it did.
SuziL avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 25 more book reviews
This wonderful book really captured the feel of the late Victorian era.
An excellent read.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 28 more book reviews
An easy read. Enjoyed it.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 15 more book reviews
I thought this was a great book. It kept my attention and was moving.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 75 more book reviews
I loved this book. It is a tale set in London at the start of the 20th century. Each of the characters tells his/her own part of the ongoing story, and the stories interweave. Very interesting.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 3 more book reviews
I loved this book, which we read for my book club. I couldn't put it down and it's a pretty quick read. It's set in the early 1900's and is about two families with young girls that grow up next door to each other. The ending is somewhat tragic but this book is highly recommended.
cay avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 63 more book reviews
Interesting story told from multiple perspectives at the turn of the 20th century. Fast read.
sabayrac avatar reviewed Falling Angels on + 34 more book reviews
Kids growing up ......friendship, politics and death. The events of life and how it affected two families and two best friends.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 103 more book reviews
By the aurthor of Girl with a pearl earring.Jan.1901,the day after Queen Victoria's death: two famies visit neighboring graves in fashionable London cemetery.One is decorated with a sentimental angel,the other an Elaborate urn.Separated by social class as well as taste,the Waterhouses cling to traditions while the Colemans look ahead to more modern society.
reviewed Falling Angels on
Wonderful read!
reviewed Falling Angels on + 5 more book reviews
Tracy Chevalier's book are terrific reads!
reviewed Falling Angels on + 7 more book reviews
The idea of the novel is an interesting one, but it is so poorly written that it was difficult to focus on anything else.
reviewed Falling Angels on + 10 more book reviews
It's a "different" book but enjoyable.
reviewed Falling Angels on
Great book...asgood as the girl with the pearl earring. The cover of the book is bent but good other than that!
reviewed Falling Angels on + 3 more book reviews
I did not read this book.
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