Review – Knowledge of Angels

Cover of Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton WalshKnowledge of Angels, Jill Paton Walsh
Reviewed 2nd July, 2012

Ursula Le Guin reportedly described this book as “beautiful and disturbing”, and I can go with that. I didn’t expect to like this; Jill Paton Walsh has left me cold on several previous occasions. But slowly, slowly, I was drawn in by the (alternate?) world presented. The proofs of God’s existence parts were tiresome to me, since I’ve done Religious Studies to A Level and the first year of a philosophy degree, but the story formed around the idea of proving the existence of God is beautiful.

There’s a sort of distance from the characters — I’m not sure I liked any of them, that is — but somehow I became deeply involved in the story anyway, and I think I’d even say I loved the characters despite not liking them. And oh, I was so sure everything would turn out alright, I wanted that ending so badly.

I may well read other historical novels by Jill Paton Walsh: this, I think, is something she’s better at than thinly veiled mimicry of Dorothy L. Sayers.

Rating: 4/5

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2 thoughts on “Review – Knowledge of Angels

  1. I read this one with a book group several years ago, and while the details are hazy by now, I remember finding myself loving it by the end. I know it generated some terrific discussion at the time. I’ve never encountered anyone else who’d even heard of this book until now, so I was very happy to see your review!

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