Friday, 10 June 2011
Review: The Guardian Angel's Journal - Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Watching over her loved ones, Margot realises with horror that the reasons behind her teenage son's descent into trouble lie within her own actions. And then an opportunity presents itself to make amends and save her son from his fate.
But the changes she makes result in consequences no one could expect . . .
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When Margot dies at the age of 40 she is sent back to earth as her own guardian angel. Now known as Ruth, it is her job to witness and record the biggest events in Margot's life, she must try to protect Margot from outside forces and she must learn to love herself. As she watches over herself and her family she comes to realise that she is responsible for the trouble that her son now finds herself in but she has been told she must change nothing. But is there a way that she can make things better for either herself or her son?
When I first read the description for The Guardian Angel's Journal I was fascinated by the idea of becoming your own guardian angel. I'm sure the idea of going back and changing certain events and decisions we made in the past has a certain appeal to most of us, after all I think everyone can think of at least a few things they would like to change about their past! For Ruth it is particularly difficult, as Margot she suffered horrendous abuse but even though she must watch these events unfold she is powerless to prevent them from happening. She tries her hardest to make small changes but often her suggestions only make things worse.
It is easy for Ruth to love Margot as a child, after all she is suffering through no fault of her own, but as she watches the decisions Margot makes as an adult she finds it harder to forgive her mistakes. Ruth must learn to accept that her childhood was to blame for a lot of her choices as an adult and it is hard for her to come to terms with the damage she then causes to her son and the rest of her family. As a reader it could have been hard not to feel unsympathetic towards Margot as she passes on her suffering to a new generation but Carolyn Jess-Cooke did a fantastic job of making me relate to her and understand what she had been through. The story is thought provoking and gives an interesting insight to how your past can effect your present in ways you don't always notice without the benefit of hindsight.
The Guardian Angel's Journal is a beautiful story that kept me up until 5am because I couldn't stop reading. It is very different from anything that I've read before but something I would highly recommend. It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.
Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review
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