I had picked up his first book, The Stolen Child, about three years ago at Prairie Lights and read about three-fourths of it before passing it along to my husband (who devoured it). Not sure what made me lose the thread in that first book, though I imagine it has something to do with it being primarily about boy's/men and men's lives. One little lost reader couldn't have hurt Donohue much, since he sold a lot of books, got a lot of attention, and quickly churned out this new one, Angels of Destruction.
And what a one it is.
The book opens with the arrival of a young girl named Norah on the doorstep of Margaret Quinn, a lonely widow whose husband has long died and whose only daughter ran away with a 1970s era radical ten years before. Materializing, it would seem, out of thin air, Norah presents herself as the antidote to Margaret’s unabiding sadness. Together, they concoct a story that Norah is her granddaughter, the daughter of Margaret’s long lost daughter Erica.
Very quickly, Norah establishes that she is no ordinary little girl. She speaks in beautifully crafted sentences, has a vocabulary to rival those of most college professors and drops prophetic bombs every time she is drawn into a meaningful conversation. She tracks animals with ease. She creates miracles that astound her classmates and anger their parents.
Is she an angel? Is she a Stepford child? Is she a demon? Angels of Destruction is a thriller wrapped in a ghost story, wrapped in a contemporary fable, wrapped in a fairy tale. One delicious Turducken.