And they say women are the sentimental sex? Fallen Angel is so filled with Hallmark moments it’s a card store in a book. Young boy confronts tragedy, teen estranged from the Old Man, young man gets rich, mature man leaves the big city and comes home to small town where he finds himself and true love. Too bad hard-hearted me had to read this one.
Eight year old Terry McQuinn lives in Maine. His father is a caretaker for a number of “cottages,” large mansions that are owned by the rich “summer people” who come there, drawn by the beauty and charm of small town life. One Christmas, the Halworth family asks for Serenity Cottage be opened. Mr. Halworth is a very kind man with a cold wife and a pretty little daughter and he is very nice to young Terry. Terry is in the car when Mr. Halworth accidently hits a couple of pedestrians (a woman and her baby no less) and kills them. He falls apart, the Halworths leave, Terry grows up, becomes estranged from his father, goes to Los Angeles and becomes a rich and successful actor’s agent. But he is not happy.
Now really, would you expect him to be?
Years later, Terry gets a call. His father is dying. Wishing to make peace, Terry goes back only to find that he was too late, the Old Man is dead. When Terry goes to take care of selling his father’s effects, he finds a note saying “Open Serenity for Christmas.” This note leads to Terry re-assessing his life, pondering over his failed relationship with his father and finding love with Katherine Halworth, the little girl, now grown up.
I know that my heart was supposed to be touched by Fallen Angel, but it was all too much. Too much sentiment, too obvious tugging at the reader’s heartstrings, and too much “beautiful” writing. If a woman had penned some of the sentences in this book, they would be labled purple-prose right off the bat. But this author is a man so I’ll bet the phrase purple prose is nowhere to be found in his reviews.
I’m not unsentimental; I do read romance novels after all, and my daughter refuses to go to movies with me since I embarrass her by crying at them. But this book was so manipulative and so obvious in its sentimentality that I was left as cold as Scrooge.