My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Marion’s Angels is the story of Marion; strange odd little Marion who is the caretaker of a Church. Her Church is a fragile, beautiful place with stunning carved angels in the roof. It’s beautiful – but it’s crumbling, suffering from time and no money and the ever-present threat of rain coming through the roof and naturally, awfully, inevitably, Marion’s Church is under threat of being demolished.
That is, until she meets Patrick and Ruth Pennington.
One day I fear that KM Peyton might not be good. I worry that I’ll come across a book of hers that doesn’t have life, love and everything in between caught in it like flowers pressed from summer. I wonder if that’s it, if I’ve read her last “good” book.
But it never is. Never.
KM Peyton is beyond perfect. There are moments in this book, elegant and elegiac in their grace where Marion (odd, crazy, perceptive Marion) is so beautiful I wept. Bloody KM Peyton. Bloody bloody KM Peyton, how are you so bloody good?
It’s also a finale, of sorts to the story of Ruth Hollis. We’ve witnessed her grow from gawky, stubborn, pony-obsessed teenager through to love, marriage and motherhood. When reviewing the Pennington books, I’ve said previously how KM Peyton gets the fragile, world-swallowing dichotomy of love. She writes it so precisely and almost understates it at times. The relationship between Ruth and Pat is real. There’s not much more to be said.
Marion’s Angels has dated, I think, looking at it as acutely as I can. There are a few moments which feel a little awkward in today’s read but these are far and few between. This is a story, as so many of KM Peyton’s are, about people.
People don’t date. Not in these books. They could be surrounded by war, or angels, or horses, or whatever, and KM Peyton would still write them with a gloriously perceptive jealousy-inducing clarity.
She would do all that because she’s KM bloody Peyton and she’s that bloody good.