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March Book Club Choice

House of Angels by Freda Lightfoot

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An intriguing and emotional family drama, set in the Lake District in the early 1900s.  Livia, Ella and Maggie Angel appear to lead a privileged life in a large country estate, but since the death of their mother, their family home has been far from a quiet haven. Their father, Josiah, is a horrific bully subjecting his daughters to beatings and assaults. Running a high-class department store and aspiring to greater fortune, plans to use his daughters as bargaining chips - looking to marry them off to the highest bidder. As each daughter face their destiny they must question what to do - succomb to their fathers wishes? Or defy him and risk more suffering? Each decision has its consequences. And when the sisters discover their father had an affair many years ago, which resulted in the birth of a baby girl, they determine to find their half-sister, but how do they know she wants to be found?

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Suggested Discussion Points:

Author Q&A

Q. What inspired you to set the book in the early 1900s?
Hannah Tatters, Newcastle

A. The Edwardian period has always intrigued me. Ostensibly a settled, peaceful and elegant time and yet one where there was a great deal of change taking place, particularly for women. The older generations clung to the traditions of Victorian England while the young reached out to the modern one, as we all do I suppose. A feeling of seething rebellion under all that proper etiquette and tradition.

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Q. Do you identify more with one of the sisters over the others?
G Stockham, Cheshire

A. I think I identify most with Livia as she was so determined to protect her sisters from their bully of a father. She was brave and stubborn, and wins through in love, although doesn’t fully achieve her own dream until the sequel, ANGELS AT WAR.

Q. Despite their troubles, the sisters have a strong, dedicated sense of family – how important was this theme when you were writing the book? .
R Thomas, Gwent

A. I think the reason I love writing family sagas is because no matter what the conflict and emotional drama that arises within this close-knit group, they are still bound together, either by love or family ties of some sort. They can’t just walk away. Resolving the mess is what makes the book interesting, hopefully for the reader as well as the writer

Q. What is the significance of choosing the word “Angel” as the family’s last name – was it a deliberate choice and what inspired the name?
Margaret Tunn, Essex

A. Yes, it was a deliberate choice. I thought it would contrast well with their devil of a father.

Q. What is your writing style – do you have a certain place in your home or time of day that you set aside for you writing?
P.M., Leicester

A. Oh, I am quite addicted to writing and write every day in my office for about 6 or 7 hours. 9.00 till 1.30, then 4.30 till 7.00. New stuff in the mornings, and editing and revising later. In the afternoons I garden, or walk or swim in a feeble effort at exercise. From the windows of my office I can see my garden and olive grove, which I love. But there was a time when I was running my book shop in Kendal when I would scribble away on a notebook behind the counter. Writers just have to write, wherever they are.

Q. I understand you left the Lake District and now live in Spain – do you miss the Lake District? And did you choose to set the books there primarily because it was a familiar setting to you, or for other reasons?
Diane Franklin, Cumbria

A. We’ve lived in the Lake District for about eighteen years and brought up our two daughters there. I love it. It’s home, really. But because of an arthritis problem which has troubled me from my early thirties, I can no longer live there. So here I am living pain free in sunny Spain. Bliss! But yes, I visit the Lakes every year and love to set my stories there as it is rich in beauty and rural charm.


Book Club Reviews

This star review was by Rosie Willbourn of Herefordshire.

I have read the two Angel books saga and found them an excellent read.Rosie Willbourn, Herefordshire

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