A GIFT OF ANGELS by Jerry Bledsoe

A GIFT OF ANGELS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Follow-up to The Angel Doll (1997), though Bledsoe is perhaps best known for Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield’s Life, Crimes and Execution (1998) and similar true-crime books. Or maybe not, since The Angel Doll, we—re told, sold over 100,00 copies, with paperback release for both it and Death Sentence coming in November and a film version in development. The sequel replays the heart of the earlier book: set in the “50s in Thomasville, North Carolina, it tells of two newsboys, the narrator and Whitey Black, and Whitey’s dying sister Sandy, who wants an angel doll. Whitey spends his precious nine dollars savings on a doll and a seamstress to dress it as an angel. But, alas, Sandy dies before she gets the angel. The narrator learns years later that Whitey now gives dolls to a children’s hospital every Christmas in his sister’s memory. Then we hear about North Carolinian Mutt Burton, who was 58 when Bledsoe, a cub reporter, met him at 26. Burton, a gifted photographer and regional actor (he played W.O. Gant in Look Homeward, Angel), celebrated all 12 tingling days of Christmas. He had Christmas in his bones. Mutt’s death, and writing The Angel Doll, prompts Bledsoe to seek out the lost Whitey. Long after, he learns that Whitey died a hero in Vietnam. The rest of the story tells of Whitey’s life, which is ten times more moving than The Angel Doll and may sell well past Christmas.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-878086-80-4
Page count: 150pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1999




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by Jerry Bledsoe

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