Salley Vicker's sensational debut novel, 'Miss Garnet's Angel' is a voyage of discovery; a novel about Venice but also the rich story of the explosive possibilities of change in all of us at any time.
Julia Garnet is a teacher. Just retired, she is left a legacy which she uses by leaving her orderly life and going to live - in winter - in an apartment in Venice.
Its beauty, its secret corners and treasures, and its people overwhelm a lifetime of reserve and caution.
Above all, she's touched by the all-prevalent spirit of the Angel, Raphael.
The ancient tale of Tobias, who travels to Media unaware he is accompanied by the Archangel Raphael, unfolds alongside Julia Garnet's contemporary journey.
The two stories interweave with parents and landladies, restorers and priests, American tourists and ancient travellers abounding.
The result is an enormously satisfying journey of the spirit - and Julia Garnet is a character to treasure.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages, maps
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 02/01/2001
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780006514213
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by susan139
Beautiful story of a older lady in Venice, after living a sheltered life being a school teacher.
Review by Abi78
Hmm...I think Salley Vickers and I just don't click. I find that her books always promise much and deliver nothing except a slight twinge of nausea. Sounds harsh I know but it's just my opinion. I guess I'll give it 2 stars though. It had some good descriptions and is miles better than 'Mr. Golightly's Holiday'!
Review by eleanor_eader
Miss Julia Garnet, spinster and virgin, travels to Venice after the death of her friend Harriet. She discovers more than solace there, something more akin to an awakening. It’s a beautiful premise and is artfully executed, and Venice is the ideal, sumptuous setting for this intriguing mix of stories that Julia’s tale entwines with – my favourite character is the wise and delightful Monsignore Giuseppe, whose presence brings a kindness and affability to the story which I really loved, but while some of the characters fall flat, Julia’s relationship with Venice itself (and the angel Raphael) never does. It is a book that tries to do a lot, but that’s okay because it largely succeeds. If there’s a significant weakness, it’s that Vicker’s own voice sometimes fails to do justice to the truly fascinating subjects that she explores. There are a couple of chapters of <i>Mr Golightly’s Holiday</i> at the back of my copy and, on reading them, I am left to conclude that I started with precisely the right book of Vicker’s, and need go no further. Without the luminescence of Venice, her prose does not glow, nor really engage. <i>Miss Garnet’s Angel</i> was not a perfect book, but it was very readable and had a strong principle character and great setting, and enough themes and plot meanderings to continue to be worth thinking about once the reader has put it down.
Review by nocto
I wanted to like this, and did like most of it. But got bogged down in the religious story sections and then started skipping them, so I probably only read 75% of the book and no doubt missed much of the depth by doing that. I may try another book by Vickers in future - I liked parts of this well enough but overall it didn't work for me.