This novel marks the stuning American debut of an internationally acclaimed writer. Combining the narrative drive of Birdsong with the emotional resonance of The Reader, The Mark of the Angel is a haunting and unforgettable tale of three lives woven together by longing, fate, and the weight of history. The year is 1957, and the place is Paris, where the psychic wounds of World War II have barely begun to heal and the Algerian war is about to escalate. Saffie, an emotionally damaged young German woman, arrives on the doorstep of Raphael, a privileged musician who finds her reserve irresistible. He hires her, and over the next few days seduces her and convinces her to marry him. But when Raphael sends Saffie on an errand to the Jewish ghetto, where she meets Andras, a Hungarian instrument maker, each of their lives will be altered in startling and unexpected ways. As Saffie learns to feel again, her long buried memories coupled with the inexorable flow of historical forces beyond anyone's control, create a tableau of epic tragedy. The Mark of the Angel is a mesmerizing novel of love, betrayal, and the ironies of history.
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"Unable to accept or reciprocate her French husband's devotion, a German WWII survivor comes to life in the arms of her Hungarian Jewish lover. Richard Aspel's performance reveals both the simplicity and complexity of this novel's plot and characters. Aspel's performance and the story unfold slowly, like the layers of an onion; text and narration reveal the compelling events and tender emotions. Aspel transitions from character to storyteller with a proficiency that both draws the listener in and provides a wide-angle perspective. The story's ending offers a surprise, but no resolution--a disappointing reminder that many plots in real life end exactly the same way. R.P.L. 2005 Audie Award Finalist (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine"
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