BOOK REVIEW: The Guardian Angel’s Journal  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Title: The Guardian Angel’s Journal

Author: Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Publisher: Piatkus Fiction

RRP: $29.99

ISBN: 9780749953287

Release Date: April 2011

Pages: 384


Piatkus's super-lead fiction title for 2011- a stunning genre-bending debut novel.

When Margot Delacroix dies at forty years old, she is sent back to earth as a guardian angel - to herself. Renamed Ruth, she is forced by divine mandate to re-experience and record her biggest mistakes and fiercest regrets from the beginning of her life to her untimely death.

Forced from the moment of her birth to witness the cogs of fate and the stuttering engine of free will, Ruth sets out to change the course of her life, and, ultimately, to prevent her premature death. When she realises that the reasons behind her teenage son's descent into drugs and murder lay within her own actions as Margot, she makes a pact with a demon - she will give up her place in Heaven in exchange for the opportunity to save her son from his fate. But the changes she makes result in consequences no one could expect. . .


Following a PhD at Queen's University, Carolyn Jess-Cooke took up a lectureship in Film Studies at the University of Sunderland. She has published non-fiction books in Film Studies and Shakespeare and is the author of the multi award-winning collection of poetry INROADS.


The Guardian Angel's Journal is one of the most original stories I’ve read about angels. While the notion of coming back as your own guardian angel seems strange and impossible at first, Jess-Cooke sets up the rules of the world quickly and believably.

Margot dies at the age of forty and is sent back to Earth to be her own guardian Angel. Margot is renamed Beth and forced to accompany herself as she relives every minor detail of her past. Beth is allowed to encourage Margot into making the right decisions, but Margot is a force to be reckoned with and isn't about to listen carefully to her former self.

Heart wrenching though the mortal struggles are, the lessons learned --mostly the hard way --by the characters lead up to a truly wonderful pay-off at the end, where you can't help but feel enlightened by the characters' journeys.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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