The Third Angel #BookReview

Alice Hoffman | published January 2008

288 pages


In The Third Angel, Hoffman weaves a magical and stunningly original story that charts the lives of three women in love with the wrong men: Headstrong Madeleine Heller finds herself hopelessly attracted to her sister’s fiancé. Frieda Lewis, a doctor’s daughter and a runaway, becomes the muse of an ill-fated rock star. And beautiful Bryn Evans is set to marry an Englishman while secretly obsessed with her ex-husband. At the heart of the novel is Lucy Green, who blames herself for a tragic accident she witnessed at the age of twelve, and who spends four decades searching for the Third Angel–the angel on earth who will renew her faith.Brilliantly evoking London’s King’s Road, Knightsbridge, and Kensington while moving effortlessly back in time, The Third Angel is a work of startling beauty about the unique, alchemical nature of love.


I love the way Alice Hoffman writes. Her stories are typically colorful and unique views of imperfect people making and/or living with their imperfect decisions. They bridge generations, including young and older characters which, to me, makes every story more relatable. The Third Angel is no different, telling the somewhat tragic love stories of 4 women, at very different times in their lives. In present time we meet sisters Maddie and Allie. Allie is set to be married and we learn how and why Maddie is having an affair with her sisters fiancé. Oh, tragedy. This particular story is fairly complex and I think the writer wants us to focus on the response to and behavior of the sisters, the fiancé and their families. The other 2 stories in the book are that of the fiancés mother (in love with a loser rock star) and Maddie and Allies mother (who plays a pivotal role in the outcome of 2 star crossed lovers).

Pros: The stories are centered in a beautifully described area in London that almost becomes a character in the book. The book itself is like a pathology of love. How love and lost shapes our choices and how we respond to others love. My favorite story was of young Lucy Green, the girls mother. The role she ultimately plays in the story of star crossed lovers is beautifully heartbreaking.

Cons: I liked the overall concept but, each story went on a bit long for me. I think we could have done without 50 or so pages here and there. I’m not sure enough time was spent setting up the overall arch and allowing us, as readers, to understand how the characters were related. I spent half of the fist story wondering where all this was headed and half of the second trying to figure out who these people were in relation to the first story. 🤷🏾‍♀️ By the third story about Lucy, the sisters mother, I caught on and in my opinion, it was the most enjoyable story. It included an odd supernatural element that, I think, could have been omitted since it was distracting more than anything but, whateves.

Overall, interesting read, probably a great read if you love beautifully written love stories and don’t care if there isn’t a happy ending. Definitely pack your patience as the stories tend to drag on in some spots for no apparent reason. Probably not the best representation of the authors work but, worth it to add to the library. #OKBook. Book 36 of 36. #2019WrapUp

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