Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat

spirit of lost angelsSUMMARY
(from Goodreads): Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.

Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancient regime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy?

Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.

Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.


Spirit of Lost Angels is Liza Perrat's historical fiction debut. I have read several books set in the French Revolution era, but Perrat's novel offers a refreshing approach to that period as it does not centre on aristocracy and the revolution itself.

Instead, Spirit of Lost Angles focuses on the life of a simple countryside girl, Victorie, while only glimpsing at the main revolutionary events. It does however, very well present the living situation of the majority of the population and the horrible conditions that led to the Revolution.

Victoire is a flawed heroine. Yet, her very imperfection makes her all the more likable as a character if not as a person. Her almost cheating on her husband (she would have had there not been an interruption), vengefulness, and occasional lack of perceptiveness (despite her otherwise praised intelligence) are things I disliked about her. At the same time, those flaws make her more realistic, and because of that I liked her on the whole.

As her story unravels, Victorie finds ways to compensate for her mistakes and shortcomings (and no, I'm not telling you how, you will have to read the book to find out). Thus, she grows as a person. Generally, Victoire is a strong and endurable woman, who stands up not only for herself but also for others.

I especially enjoyed the writing in Spirit of Lost Angels. Through the first-person point of view Perrat captures Victorie's states of mind (depression, madness, anger) wonderfully. Victorie's character development is reflected in the manner of her narrative which changes from the perspective of a child to that of a sophisticated city woman and all the phases she goes through in between.

The plot seems a little far-fetched at some spots, with the people Victoire encounters and the streaks of good and bad luck, though the course of events seems generally plausible.

Overall, I enjoyed Spirit of Lost Angles. I especially liked the ending, which bears a positive note but not in the way one might expect.

RECOMMENDATION: Spirit of Lost Angles offers a great depiction of the French Revolution era from a somewhat different perspective than usually. I think people who like reading historical fiction, especially concerning French history, would enjoy this book.

4 stars

Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


  1. Thank you so much, Pepca, for a most insightful review. It is much appreciated.


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