________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 10 . . . . January 18, 2002

cover Angel on Her Knees.

Patricia Josefchak-Pugh.
Burnstown, ON: General Store Publishing, 2001.
108 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 1-894263-46-4.

Grades 7-12 / Ages 12-17.

Review by Tony Payzant.

***1/2 /4

excerpt:

Thea put the small key in the hole and turned it. She heard a click, signalling that the bolt had dropped. But the cover was still stuck. She thumped on it lightly along the edges with her fist. Perhaps that would loosen the gluing of time. It rumbled open, sticking only a little. Some beeswax in the grooves would smooth it out and keep it from sticking. She would polish some on the edges tomorrow.

As she expected, there was a small writing surface covered with a leather blotter. Pigeonholes lined the back. Instantly she recognized inkbottles and letter paper. There were photos in very small Victorian-style frames - some oval, some square. There were a wax seal and two small box-like drawers. One contained another small brass key, different from the one for the desk. The other was empty. Thea returned the key to its drawer. She didn't know what it opened or closed, but she'd leave it there for now.

A family secret carried to the grave underlies the delightful and mysterious Angel on Her Knees in which Frank and Thea Nickles abandon their fast-paced urban life when Thea's Aunt Grace bequeaths a beautiful cottage near a small town. Secret rooms, hidden documents and undiscovered relationships come to light as the story develops.

     Patricia Josefchak-Pugh has penned a most enjoyable novel for young adults. She entices the reader with foreshadowing, often drawing the main characters within a hair's breadth of momentous discovery only to have their attention diverted elsewhere. The characters are painted well here, too - from the bitter, prying widow to drunken young hooligans, as well as Thea's gradual transformation from stress-laden Torontonian to contented rural homeowner. The small-town aura is captured very nicely.

     Angel on Her Knees is a compelling, well-woven mystery, set in modern times but with a nod to old-world values of civility and kindness.

Highly Recommended.

Tony Payzant is a content editor living in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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