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Reading Guide. Mar 09, Minutes Buy. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.
For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.
Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world. Move over, vampires.
Who cares about vampires? Angelology is richly allusive and vividly staged with widescreen-ready visuals, a dewy but adaptable heroine and a dashingly cruel villain…. Sensual and intelligent, Angelology is a terrifically clever thriller-more Eco than Brown, without the cloudy sentimentalism of New Age encomiums or Catholic treatises. It makes no apologies for its devices, and none are necessary.
How else would it be possible to bring together the angels of the Bible and Apocrypha, the myth of Orpheus, Bulgarian geography, medieval monastics, the Rockefellers, Nazis, nuns and musicology? And how splendid that it has happened. Only a secret group of scholars, the Society of Angelologists, has endeavored to combat the spread of evil generated by Nephilim.
Now, a strange affliction is destroying the Nephilim, and the cure is rumored to be an ancient artifact of great power. Sister Evangeline of the St. Trussoni, author of the acclaimed memoir Falling Through the Earth , makes an impressive fiction debut with this engrossing and fascinating tale.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has purchased the film rights. The contest between good and evil is waged not in the heavens but here on Earth, between warring factions of biblical scholars and heavenly hosts. The unusual central character is Sister Evangeline, a year-old nun at St. Rose Convent outside New York City. Simultaneously, the book introduces Percival Grigori, a critically ill, once-winged member of one of the most powerful families in an ancient race of beings born of a union between fallen angels and human beings: the Nephilim.
Thomas Aquinas believed that the dark angels fell within twenty seconds of creation-their evil nature cracked the perfection of the universe almost instantly, leaving a terrible fissure between good and evil.
A film adaptation and a sequel are already waiting in the wings. An ambitious adventure story with enough literary heft and religious fervor to satisfy anyone able to embrace its imaginative conceits and Byzantine plot. Angelology is an exquisitely crafted adventure into untold realms of imagination, religion, and history.
Meticulous in its research and delicious in its execution, the novel weaves Western theology together with ancient myth in a way that will make readers question what they think they know about angels. A triumph. A pleasure from start to finish. A wonderful achievement. Trussoni has written a holy thriller that will arrest your attention from the opening pages and not let go till its mysteries take wing.
This is a book that resonates as both haunting and holy. A must read. What inspired you to combine the Orpheus myth with the Biblical tale of the fallen angels? I began to write Angelology with a very clear picture of the settings I wanted to include in the story. Knowing that I needed to have a firsthand encounter with convent life, I went to St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin my hometown to speak with the nuns who lived there.
Rose, and this made my presence at the convent a little less odd, although I'm sure that the nuns didn't know what to think of having a writer trailing after them and asking personal questions! At the time of my visit to the convent, I had no clear vision of how I would write about the convent. And so I spent a lot of time simply following the Sisters through their day. There was a beautiful chapel at St. Rose where the nuns went to pray. One night, when I was walking back from the chapel, I found myself in the convent reading room, a small space filled with religious books.
One shelf of the library was filled with books about angels. I took a stack of books down, sat in a comfortable chair and began reading. I came to the Orpheus myth in an equally roundabout fashion. He took me to the cave for the first time and I fell in love with the stark, craggy landscape and the mythologies that surrounded the cave.
In local legend, the Devil's Throat forms the entrance to the underworld where Orpheus descended to save his lover Eurydice. So my interest in Orpheus was really secondary to my interest in the cave itself, at least in the beginning.
How was the process of writing your previous book, the memoir Falling Through the Earth , different from writing the novel Angelology? The process was completely different in some ways and very similar in others.
My first book was a memoir about my relationship with my father and was, of course, much more personal in nature. I found that Falling Through the Earth was more emotionally draining, especially because my father was ill for much of the time I was writing the book.
Angelology , on the other hand, was a pleasure to write. I had such fun creating the characters. I found that I deeply enjoyed going to my desk each morning because I would often discover something completely new about the story. By the end, I loved the characters I had created and didn't want the project to end. Research was a huge element in preparing to write Angelology.
I did not have much experience studying theology or the history of religion, and so I felt that it was absolutely necessary to learn as much as possible about the various perceptions of angels. I read a lot of wonderful academic studies about angels and I read quite a lot of the Bible. I read parts of Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine and the history of religious orders in the United States. I also made many trips to New York to capture Evangeline's and Verlaine's world.
Which did you enjoy writing more, the present-day events with Evangeline and Verlaine or Celestine's narrative? Actually, the most engrossing section of Angelology for me to write was Brother Clematis's narrative, a first-person journal of a monk's journey to the Devil's Throat. I also loved writing Celestine's recollections of Paris in the s.
Both of these characters allowed me to imagine places and historical events that were very far from the life I was living when I wrote the book. Being transported to other places is, for me, is the real pleasure of writing fiction. One of the novel's conceits suggests that the divide between church and science was engineered by an outside agency.
Do you think religion and science have become antagonistic? Yes, it seems to me that, in many ways, science and religion have parted ways. We don't have many intellectuals like Isaac Newton who are dedicated to exploring both the divine and natural worlds at once. Do you believe that a more-than-human evil lay behind the rise of the Nazi regime and others like it? Some of the characters in the novel believe that the Nephilim orchestrated the Nazi rise to power, but of course this speculation is part of the fictional world I've created.
You split your time between the United States and France. Has living abroad altered your perceptions as a writer? I have always loved the sense of dislocation I feel when I live abroad. I have lived in Japan, Bulgaria and now France. I find that I begin to pay very close attention to my own culture when I'm in a place that is entirely foreign, and that my attention to detail sharpens.
The English language becomes very comforting, almost like a cocoon, after fumbling with a foreign language. In the end, it is nice to have the option to live far away from home but then, of course, it is great to come back, too. Your husband, Nikolai Grozni, is also a novelist. How does living with another writer affect your own work? In a lot of ways living with another writer helps me to stay on course with my own work.
We have a set schedule each day. Both Nikolai and I write in the morning in different offices at home. We work until around lunch, eat lunch together, and then either go back to writing or do the shopping or take a walk.
Our morning work hours are very quiet, very calm, with no music or television on, making the house a perfect environment for writing.
I am also able to discuss my work with Nikolai, which is unbelievably helpful. The ending of Angelology has quite a surprise twist. Where do you see Evangeline headed from here? Evangeline is in quite a difficult situation at the end of Angelology and she will be working through the complications of this in the next book. I am writing about Evangeline, of course!
The sequel to Angelology is set in Paris and finds Evangeline and Verlaine trying to find their way back to one another. Add to Cart. Also available from:. Available from:. Paperback —.
Angelology Reader’s Guide
At twenty-three, she is the youngest of the nuns living at St. At first glance, the letter appears quite harmless—a politely worded missive from one V. In fulfilling her duties as an assistant in the library, Evangeline has received and turned down numerous similar requests. Verlaine, an aspiring art historian, and Grigori, an ailing but peculiarly menacing older man, first met at an art auction. When the two discovered their mutual interest in the philanthropic Rockefeller family, Grigori offered to pay him generously for any and all information he possessed or could uncover about the late Abigail Rockefeller.
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Reading Guide. Mar 09, Minutes Buy. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim. For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.