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Angels and Men [Paperback]

Catherine Fox
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Jan 1997
A novel about the lives and loves of students in a theological college. Mara is an angry and intelligent young woman who undertakes a theology degree to explore her unresolved relationship with her vicar father and deceased sister, who dies mysteriously in an extreme religious community.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 Jan 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014024543X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140245431
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Read more about Catherine's new novel WOLF TIDE here:

Catherine Fox was educated at Durham and London Universities and has a degree in English and a PhD in Theology. She is the author of three novels, Angels and Men, The Benefits of Passion and Love for the Lost, which explore the themes of the spiritual and the physical with insight and humour. In 2007, Yellow Jersey Press published Fight the Good Fight: From Vicar's Wife to Killing Machine in which Catherine relates her quest to achieve a black belt in Judo. She teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Liverpool, where her husband is dean of the cathedral.

ACTS & OMISSIONS, blogged in weekly instalments during 2013, will be published by SPCK, July 2014

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Product Description


''As original as its abrasive but engaging heroine.'' --Pat Barker in The Sunday Times Pick of the Year

''It is a real pleasure to find what many readers are always on the lookout for: a new and original writer of a rattling good story told with intelligence and depth.'' --The Tablet

''Fox's novel, drawing skilfully on the high seriousness of a venerable religion, offers more substantial satisfactions than a reader has any right to expect from a first novel about student life.'' --The Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Catherine Fox is an established and popular author. Her other books include The Benefits of Passion (Hamish Hamilton 1997), Love for the Lost (Penguin, 2000) and Wolf Tide (CreateSpace, 2013). She lives in Liverpool where her husband is dean of the cathedral. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and enjoyable 6 Dec 2003
By Elberry
The novel opens with a stirring description of "The City", as Fox calls it, a visionary city that is nonetheless i assure you very real. The protagonist, Mara, is a compellingly twisted & darkly charismatic postgrad at a Christian college. The novel follows her unexpected and very plausibly, convincingly, complex romantic entanglements at university, as she is tempted from her fierce solitude and amusing misanthropy.
i was impressed by Fox's technical prowess - the novel is finely structured and paced, a feat not to be sniffed at. But i was most moved by her open-endedness, her ability to treat of very emotive matters (religion, love, sexuality) without cheap solutions. A powerful novel, vision strongly anchored in passion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book not least because of the vividly awkward and ascerbic heroine (not since Jane Austen's Emma have I have I had to work so hard to like the protagonist of a novel, although Mara proves to be well worth the effort) but also because of its recurring themes of faith - both lost and found - and the complex nature of all human relationships. Not to mention the lengths to which these relationships drive us.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best by cosmic proportions 27 May 2005
This is truly THE best book that I've ever and will ever come across. It doesn't hold you on the edge, nevertheless it will be impossible not to be emotionally attached to the character(s) in the story. Angels and Men is elegantly simple, delivered with rare and daring originality. It will not be your usual books with a hero to save the day.Mara Johns was not your typical hermit, but one with a mysterious and captivating emotional baggage. Set against a backdrop of a traditionalist academic institution and a handful of captivating yet realistic characters, Angels and Men will discover for you the trove of sentiments you have always been looking for.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, great story, great location! 21 April 2003
By A Customer
This is a rollicking good read, brilliantly written and with some of the most vivid characters I've ever come across. My copy of Angels and Men is now falling apart as it has done the rounds of many friends, all of whom have ended up staying up all night/missing their stop on the train/standing up a hot date just to finish it! Fabulous. Even more enjoyable if, like me, you're a Durham graduate - very evocative of summer nights by the river.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a Christian. I only came across this book by chance, but I'm so glad I did. I was absolutely gripped by this and her other books. I really wish she would write some more, they are so moving and thrilling and warm. The characters absolutely come to life and Durham seems like a wonderful place. In the further books the characters develop so well, too. I would recommend this to anyone but many of those who would love this may never find it due to lack of promotion or they may be prejudiced against a 'religious' tale. I say to them, don't be scared! If you are keen on this another book you might like to try is Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book is much better than the film that was made of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful novel. 24 Oct 2003
This is one of my favourite books in the universe. It rates alongside Jane Eyre as a thoroughly gripping, intense and moving novel. It explores faith as a real and up to date concept that has to be wrestled with, and it has Christians doing things you wouldn't believe - like being real and alive and having faults too! Read it and the 2 sequels. You won't be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional novel about being young 29 Dec 2001
By A Customer
this is a wonderfully evocative and powerful novel about being young, stroppy, passionate, and sincere. Reading it took me back to hot-headed youth - the serious themes below the glittering surface of the book simply add to its pleasures.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most fantastic books 31 July 2010
By locket
I haven't read Angels and Men for a few years now but it has to be one of my favourite books of all time. I have just been reading the other reviews and am now desperate to read the book and the sequels again. My lovely husband bought it for me one Christmas and then regretted it as he didn't get a word out of me until I had finished it. It really is that good. My only complaint is that Catherine Fox seems to have stopped writing novels which is an incredible shame.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read so far this year
This book has well-drawn characters, and is a thoughtful and sympathetic depiction of love, religion, mental illness and family relationships.
Published 3 months ago by MS C BURCHELL
3.0 out of 5 stars The Vicar's Daughter
Vicar's daughter, Mara Johns, an independent and very striking young woman, arrives at a university in a large northern cathedral city to take postgraduate studies in women and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Susie B
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Believable characters and compelling story. Will appeal to people interested in the Church of England but also to the general reader. Throroughly recommended.
Published 13 months ago by Derek Watmough
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold star!
I really love this. Catherine Fox has a great way of writing. This is an absorbing story about Mara facing life following her loss of faith after an unbearable family death. Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by Charles Carter
3.0 out of 5 stars Boring!
Although very well written in some ways, I really found this book boring!

I was a student at Durham for 6 years in total, and was there when the river froze (as in the... Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2011 by Stuart M. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated in the face of five-star reviews
This is possibly my favourite book. It is not easy to underpin the elements that make this an incredible novel because they are too extensive; I just simply can't fault it. Read more
Published on 13 May 2010 by Natalie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite novels
This is just such a good book. Catherine Fox seems to have given up writing novels now which is such a shame - she's good at it! Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by briggsa
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable
Catherine Fox has created a great story with fascinating characters and unusual themes, but the icing on the cake is surely her hero to-die-for, the gorgeous Johnny Whitaker. Read more
Published on 13 May 2009 by CA Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and unexpected
I was initially drawn to this book because I spent some time at a college in Durham, where the book is set. Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2007 by Mr. D. Holder-twomlow
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling and addictive
I have reread this and Fox's other two novels multiple times, and am desperate for a fourth. She left Isobel (not to mention this reader! Read more
Published on 22 July 2007 by CLM
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