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.
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