My journey from disinterest to delight
When this book was first released, I read the blurb and thought, despite my adoration for Anne Rice; this was not a book for me. As someone who would identify as predominately secular, a book centralising around Christianity and Judaism would not often make my ‘to read’ list. The novel tells the story of a Jewish family in medieval times and the problems they encounter, something I must admit I was not familiar with.
‘Angel Time’ for me is not about religion at all, or God for that matter; the book showcases the human condition inclusive of faults and triumphs. Love can so often feel romanticised and knows no real life limitations. Yet, Anne Rice, as always, has provided the reader with a range of characters who are each as imperfect and flawed as the next; regardless of who they love. This ensures that the reader is invested in the story arc of each character irrespective of their own religious affiliation. The possibility of alienation from the events of the narrative is always heightened when motivations are religious in origin; this possible pitfall has irrevocably been avoided.
Though I personally believe the acceptance of certain instances within the narrative were unbelievable, and quick; I would believe others perhaps ‘of faith’ would disagree. I certainly will concede had ‘angel’ been replaced with ‘vampire’ or ‘fairy’ I would have been internally screaming for Toby; the protagonist, to accept the fact, so the narrative could progress.
I genuinely am so glad I decided to read this book; it has affected me in a way only a truly great book can. I closed ‘Angel Time’ with an inner peace wholly disconnected with religion; I felt at peace with humanity as a whole. Which surprised me as the protagonist is a former assassin atoning for his sins, and the treatment of Jewish characters within the narrative was horrendous. An unwavering presence of pure love remained despite the darkest of turns in the novel.
I may not be planning on joining a religious sect any time some, but I do have a restored faith; a faith in my fellow man. The world of today is not so different that that of the version of the 15th century which Anne Rice is portraying; it is often so full of darkness that light cannot be seen.
I wholeheartedly thank Anne Rice for providing another superb work of fiction, which has certainly sparked my curiosity, as all good books should, and has me researching the plight of Medieval Jewish people. I urge people to read this novel; you may initially feel as though you are trying to be converted, but stick with it, it really is not about that at all.