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A TIME OF ANGELS by Karen Hesse


by Karen Hesse

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)