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A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein

A Time of Angels

by Patricia Schonstein

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This is not a new release, it's from 2005. I got it from my library's ebook section so I could try out my new nook in a hurry. The nook was awesome, the book, however, was not.

A Time of Angels starts out in post-World War II, about a group of friends and family, Italian Jews whose parents had migrated to South Africa. Ms. Schonstein starts describing the characters and all the little details of their lives. For my taste, she went into way too much detail, spending pages and pages about the Italian food one of her main characters, Pasquale prepares in his restaurant/deli.

The book is very disconnected. She jumped from character to character, back and forth in time until I was thoroughly confused as to who she was talking about and where they fit into the story. Part of the problem is there wasn't much of a story at all. A man loses his wife to his best friend while he is away on business, so he holes up alone in his house. Then the Devil comes to live with him.

Ms. Schonstein had some interesting ideas with the different vignettes she wrote about and how all the characters coincidentally entertwined in each other's lives throughout the years. That was really the only thing I enjoyed about the book. Maybe it was just too deep for such a shallow mind as mine! ( )
  NCRainstorm | Apr 25, 2011 |
I found this book was a real disappointment! This story was supposed to be based around two characters:

Primo, a soothsayer and magician raised on a rich diet of astronomy, philosophy and storytelling.

Pasquale, an exquisite Italian chef, making fruited breads and salamis. He owns a bar and delicatessen.

Both characters are Italian, but moved to Capetown, South Africa, after the Holocaust.

Disjointed chapters, and far too many 'main' characters thoroughly spoiled what could have been a nice little novel. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Oct 24, 2010 |
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"Primo Verona, a professional magician and soothsayer, is born with a gift of clairvoyance so strong that he is able to predict his own mother's death while still in her womb. He is brought up on a rich diet of astronomy, philosophy and storytelling by his watchmaker father and widowed aunt, both survivors of the death camps in Auschwitz. Primo accurately reads the futures of the local Long Street community of Italians and Jews, who pay him in wads of money, honey cakes, tiramisu and other delicacies." "Pasquale Benvenuto, his close friend since childhood and fellow soldier in the Angolan war, is the owner of a bar and delicatessen favored by local businessmen and gamblers alike. Pasquale is passionate and headstrong, his culinary reputation resting on the recipes for the fruited breads and salamis his father taught him to make - a love of which he acquired while hiding from the horrors of the Holocaust.". "Together Primo and Pasquale form an easy friendship triangle with the beautiful Beatrice, Primo's wife and Pasquale's former girlfriend, but when she leaves her husband for her old love, Primo is devastated. He casts spells to spoil Pasquale's creations and to win back Beatrice, but he inadvertently conjures up an unexpected visitor."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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