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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Domingo's Angel by @JennyTwist1 - Now relaunched.

One of the best novels I've read in recent years, Domingo's Angel by Jenny Twist was relaunched (with a lovely revamped cover) this weekend after the author regained her publishing rights and was able to produce this independently - at a much lower cost than her previous publisher charged. Oh the virtues of independent publishing!

Here's how I reviewed it after reading it for the first time:

Jenny Twist is a wonderfully talented storyteller and Domingo’s Angel weaves a spell of enchantment around the reader from start to finish.  Although set in the 1950s (when the English woman, Angela, first arrives in the remote mountain village of Amendillas), there is nonetheless a timeless quality to the story.  Through seamless flashbacks, the narrative takes us through the dreadful days of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s despotic rule, then forwards into a happier, hopeful future.  

The small, self-sufficient community seems untouched by the outside world and, on the surface looks like paradise. However, every character has been affected and deeply scarred by past tragedies and each nurses his or her own secret pain.  Widows, who have long ago stopped weeping and have put away their smiles - seemingly forever, are the backbone of this community now devoid of men of a certain generation.

The English Angela is escaping from her own tragic secrets, but her healing process begins when she meets Domingo who worships her as his angel, then little by little, the healing magic begins to spread.  But it is Rosalba, the excellently–drawn village matriarch, whose complex life-journey really captivates our hearts.  Angela is quick to realise that “Whatever Rosalba thinks today, the village will think tomorrow” and the true love story is the growing bond between these two women, who learn to heal each other. 

I read the latter half of the story almost entirely through misty eyes as the main characters grew larger than life with every page, unfolding their astonishing stories to me like good friends trusting me with their heartfelt secrets.  When I reached the final page, I felt bereft and lonely, though completely satisfied that I had left them all in very good hands.  Domingo’s Angel is a story I will certainly read again and this author goes straight to the top of my favourites list.

Maybe now's the time for me to dig it out and settle down for a wonderful re-read.  I recommend it to anyone and everyone who hasn't yet read it.  I gave it five stars because I couldn't go higher.  I'd love to know what you think.

Author Jenny Twist left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and an escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford. 
In 2001 she and her husband moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat.
Jenny's other published works include: Take One At Bedtime,The Mantequero series, Bedtime Shadows (with Tara Fox Hall) and dozens of short stories.

Domingo's Angel is available from:

12 comments:

Jenny Twist said...

I can't thank you enough for this lovely piece, Lynette. I grew misty-eyed myself reading your review. It's people like you who make writing worthwhile.
Thank you. xxx

Georgina said...

What a great review! I am truly intrigued. Sounds like a wonderful read.

oldthingsrnew said...

A wonderful review and the kind of story I really enjoy reading.

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Georgina,
I'm so pleased to meet you.
And hello again, oldthingsrnew.
Thank for your kind words.
Love
Jenny
xxx

Dorothy Johnston said...

Congratulations! Great review!

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Dorothy.
Pleased to meet you. It IS a great review, isn't it. I'm so delighted with it.
Love
Jenny
xxx

Pam Howes said...

Great review, Jenny. Good luck with this. Pam. xx

E. Ayers said...

I've read this story and it's wonderful! Jenny is a very talented author! Seems all her stories leave a haunting place inside of the mind. They just stay there and refuse to leave!

ManicScribbler said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by - I do love having visitors who leave comments :) Thanks all for supporting Jenny and her beautiful story.
You are so right Elizabeth - there is a haunting quality to her stories (settings and characters especially) that seem to find permanent lodgings in the mind. Sign of a great storyteller, eh?

Jenny Twist said...

Thanks, Pam. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. xxxx

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Elizabeth. What a lovely comment! I'm feeling pink all over. xxxxxx

Jenny Twist said...

And thank you, Lyn, for putting up with me yet again. Not to mention the lovely things you said. I am so grateful.
Love
Jenny
xx

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