Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A TIME OF ANGELS by Karen Hesse


by Karen Hesse

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-7868-0087-9
Publisher: Hyperion

 An intense, vivid tale of the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918. Hannah Gold's already unhappy life in Boston--both parents are trapped in Europe by the war, leaving her with two quarrelsome sisters on one hand and critical, humorless Vashti, a permanent houseguest, on the other--suddenly becomes a nightmare when people begin dying all around her, including her beloved Tanta Rose. When the sisters show flu symptoms, Vashti orders Hannah to flee, but it's too late; feverish and semiconscious, she's taken off the train and, after a long bout that leaves her weak and voiceless, ends up convalescing with Klaus Gerhard, a kindly widower. As in Phoenix Rising (1994), Hesse effectively captures the physical and emotional effects of deadly illness and makes wise observations about judging people too hastily: Reluctant to admit she eats only kosher food, Hannah nearly starves, but the worst discrimination falls on Klaus, for being German. In a strange, haunting subplot, Hannah has periodic visions of angels. An absorbing story with strongly drawn characters and a convincing sense of time and place. (glossary) (Fiction. 11-15)