In a sweet but thoughtful page-turner, Banks (Angela and Diabola, 1997, etc.) cleverly explores violence-torn modern-day Belfast through the eyes of a child, and her angel. With Da away fighting with the IRA, and oldest brother, Kieran, in jail as a political prisoner, many of the family responsibilities fall on young Maura. She helps care for infant brother Darrell, six-year-old brother Foley, and older sister Colleen, who is retarded. Just when things become too overwhelming, Angela, an angel, falls to earth amid a bomb blast. A spooked Ma welcomes Angela into the Cuddy home because she shares the name and likeness of Maura's twin, who died at birth. Maura now has the extra responsibility of teaching Angela how to be human: She needs to learn not only how to eat and dress, but also how to cry, laugh, feel physical and emotional pain, and even how to sin. Banks expertly and amusingly dissects basic human functions and emotions, and readers will enjoy her inspiring and heartfelt take on angels: They are simple and pure beings--humans before they were ""corrupted."" It's a hopeful but not too rose-colored story, with interesting commentary on the effect--and limitations--a higher power may have on the world. Banks doesn't have all the answers, but she turns some of the questions into an enjoyable and discussion-worthy read.