Angeology is a delicious and decadent book, written by Danielle Trussoni. Filled with biblical imagery, Apocryphal writings, the myth of Orpheus and the fall of rebel angels, the book is spellbinding and unapologetically sensual.
Angelology is a speedy read that builds to an almost unbearable crescendo, leaving the reader loathe to put the book down. The end is shocking, unexpected, and actually leaves the reader a bit annoyed – until, that is, we learn Trussoni is currently writing a sequel to Angelology.
If you are a reader of the Bible – or not – you may have heard the words below in one form or another, it is one of the strangest passages in the Old Testament, located in Genesis 6:
1 When men began to multiply upon the earth and daughters we born to them, 2 the sons of heaven saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives as many of them as they chose. 4 At the time the Nephilim appeared on earth (as well as later), after the sons of heaven had intercourse with the daughters of men, who bore them sons. They were the heroes of old, the men of women.– New American Bible
Who were the Nephilim? According to the Apocryphal Book of Enoch, the Nephilim were the offspring of a group of angels – called Watchers – sent by God in the earliest part of creation to keep track of humanity. The 200 Watchers – or angels – spent their time hiding from humans, while keeping an eye on the progress of God’s new creation. Most of the Watchers obeyed God and returned to Heaven when their duty was done.
A few of the Watchers, however, did not obey God. One day a small group of Watchers were gathered on a hilltop. Seeing a woman bathing in a stream below, her wet hair clinging to the curves of her body, the lead Watcher became aroused and decided that the beautiful daughters of man should belong to them. Thus, this small fraction of angels took as wives the daughters of man and the women bore them sons. The offspring of the angels and mortal women were powerful, strong, huge and intelligent. These were the Nephilim – those men of legend and renown, such as Hercules, Zeus, and Goliath.
Thus began an ancient battle between good and evil that carried to the present, involving a youg nun named Sister Evangeline. Just two days before Christmas, Evangeline awakens to perform the prayers and devotional duties that have occupied her every day for the past several years.
At 23, she is the youngest of the nuns living at St. Rose Convent in New York’s verdant Hudson Valley, but Evangeline already expects that each day up to her last will follow the same quiet routine — until a mysterious letter opens the door to a past she cannot deny and a future as terrifying as it is unimaginable. As an assistant in the library, Evangeline has received and turned down numerous similar requests. However, something in the letter provokes her curiosity, and she is unable to suppress her desire to know more.
Meanwhile, the letter’s writer is en route to New York’s Central Park for a scheduled meeting with his current employer, Percival Grigori. Verlaine, an aspiring art historian, and Grigori, an ailing but peculiarly menacing older man, first met at an art auction. When the two discovered their mutual interest in the philanthropic Rockefeller family, Grigori offered to pay him generously for any and all information he possessed or could uncover about the late Abigail Rockefeller.
Following her only real clue, Evangeline painstakingly unravels the truth of her residence at St. Rose. She discovers that she is the daughter of two angelologists, a group of scholars, theologians, and warriors who have battled the Nephilim — the beautiful and rapacious descendents of fallen angels and humans — since the dawn of time. The golden lyre she wears around her neck is more than a pretty trinket from her grandmother — it is a reminder of the betrayal of God and man, good versus evil, and Evangeline’s own destined role in the battle to come.
Grigori himself belongs to a high-ranking Nephilim family who once laid bloody siege to the Sisters hoping to steal the priceless artifact the Grigoris thought might be hidden at the convent. Now that Verlaine has confirmed these suspicions, they will stop at nothing to obtain it.
Angelology is Danielle Trussoni’s first novel. It was published by Viking Press. She is currently working on a sequel to Angelology, which will entitled Angelopolis. Angelology currently is being made into a movie by Columbia pictures.
Trussoni’s first book, the memoir Falling Through the Earth was selected as one of the Ten Best books of 2006 by the New York Times Book Review. To order Angelology, click here.
Source in part: Angelology