The Angel Makers

By Jessica Gregson
(Soho Press, Hardcover, 9781569479797)

Publication Date: December 6, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the December 2011 Indie Next List
“Based on a true story, this tale involves a young orphan who lives with the town midwife in a remote area of Hungary. Together, they help the town's wives resolve their issues with their abusive husbands -- with the help of arsenic. During World War I, these women learn to cope for themselves, and then take matters into their own hands after their husbands return. But will they get away with it?”
-- Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC


Description

"Like Tracy Chevalier in Girl with the Pearl Earring, Gregson excels at developing strong, complex female voices; a swift plot; and a story that will hold readers from beginning to end."—Booklist

When the men of a remote Hungarian village go off to war in 1916, the women left behind realize their lives are much better without them. Suddenly, they are not being beaten; they have time for friendships; they even find romance with the injured Italian soldiers staying just outside of town.

For Sari, an intelligent girl who's always been an outcast (her fellow villagers suspect her of being a witch because of her medical knowledge), it's the first time in her life she's had friends. When the men return at war's end, the freedom Sari and the others have enjoyed is suddenly snatched from them, and they realize they need to do whatever it takes to hold onto it. Sari puts her medical knowledge to use to off her husband. Then she helps one of her friends. And another. When the word spreads, she realizes her problems are only beginning. This creeping and hugely readable first novel is based on a true story.






About the Author

Jessica Gregson has a degree in Anthropology from Cambridge and a Masters in Development from London School of Economics. Jessica has worked as a policy advisor for the home office and a humanitarian worker in Sudan. Jessica has just started a PhD at the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies in London.




Praise For The Angel Makers

"Like Tracy Chevalier in Girl with the Pearl Earring, Gregson excels at developing strong, complex female voices; a swift plot; and a story that will hold readers from beginning to end."—Booklist

“Unforgettable.”—Historical Novels Review

“It’s a testament to Gregson’s skill that she lures readers on board and makes us believe—even cheer on—the grisly twists. She might get away with it because she’s so careful with her pacing and character development. She doesn’t race straight to the guts; she instead gives us enough of village life to hook us, make us believe, make us care about Sari’s strangeness, and the village’s general sicknesses and plucky misery, before any angels are made. Furthermore, Gregson possesses an enviable talent for delivering a full character in just a few lines…. her prose hangs together well overall and demonstrates an elegant ability to shift perspective, an acuity with handling the passage of time, and a touch for simple, transformative moments of beauty.” —Fiction Writer's Review

“Gregson has created in Sari so curious a character that the novel, based on a true story, springs vividly alive.” Grade: B+ —Clevland Plain Dealer

"Basing her novel on a true story, Gregson draws the reader into Sari’s conflicted world…. Gregson’s cautionary tale is all the more chilling for its basis in reality.” —Curled Up With a Good Book

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