Angelica by Arthur Phillips
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Arthur Phillips's The Tragedy of Arthur, The Song Is You, Prague, and The Egyptologist.

From the bestselling author of The Egyptologist and Prague comes an even more accomplished and entirely surprising new novel. Angelica is a spellbinding Victorian ghost story, an intriguing literary and psychological puzzle, and a meditation on marriage, childhood, memory, and fear.

The novel opens in London, in the 1880s, with the Barton household on the brink of collapse. Mother, father, and daughter provoke one another, consciously and unconsciously, and a horrifying crisis is triggered. As the family’s tragedy is told several times from different perspectives, events are recast and sympathies shift.
In the dark of night, a chilling sexual spectre is making its way through the house, hovering over the sleeping girl and terrorizing her fragile mother. Are these visions real, or is there something more sinister, and more human, to fear? A spiritualist is summoned to cleanse the place of its terrors, but with her arrival the complexities of motive and desire only multiply. The mother’s failing health and the father’s many secrets fuel the growing conflicts, while the daughter flirts dangerously with truth and fantasy.

While Angelica is reminiscent of such classic horror tales as The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House, it is also a thoroughly modern exploration of identity, reality, and love. Set at the dawn of psychoanalysis and the peak of spiritualism’s acceptance, Angelica is also an evocative historical novel that explores the timeless human hunger for certainty.

Angelica, Arthur Phillip's spellbinding third book, cements this young novelist's reputation as one of the best writers in America, a storyteller who combines Nabokovian wit and subtlety with a narrative urgency that rivals Stephen King"  –Washington Post
 

About Arthur Phillips

See more books from this Author
Arthur Phillips is the internationally bestselling author of The Song Is You, which was a New York Times Notable Book and named one of the best novels of the year by The Washington Post; Angelica; The Egyptologist; and Prague, which was also a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. He lives in New York with his wife and two sons.
 
Published April 3, 2007 by Random House. 370 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Angelica

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Phillips juggles possibilities almost as adroitly as did Henry James in this novel’s likely inspiration, The Turn of the Screw—and he ups the ante in successive narratives focused on the duplicitous spiritualist (“Anne Montague”) engaged by Constance, who quickly falls under this formidable older...

| Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

As a literary form, pastiche has its pleasures, often witty ones, as the career of Arthur Phillips proves.

May 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Set in Victorian England, Phillips's impressive third novel uses four linked viewpoints to explore class, gender, family dynamics, sexuality and sciences both real and fraudulent, ancient and newly minted.

Feb 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Angelica Arthur Phillips' clever, chilly novel begins as a ghost story: Constance Barton, a nervous Victorian housewife, suspects that an evil spirit is preying upon her 4-year-old daughter, Angelica.

Mar 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

USA Today

Arthur Phillips reinvents the Gothic bodice-ripper in the sex-drenched Angelica, a dark and perverse tale that seamlessly mixes psychological disintegration, the dissolution of a marriage and the trappings of a classic ghost story.Constance Barton, long-suffering wife of Joseph Barton, is the hau...

| Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

Gather Books

Readers should not give in to the temptation to give up on Angelica, the second half of the novel more than makes up for the slow initial pace.

Apr 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

PopMatters

When Joseph suggests that Angelica, at age 4, might finally be moved from her parents’ bedroom into a separate nursery and might even start going to school, Constance dreads the worst: separation from her daughter and the resumption of sex in her marriage.

Apr 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Heller McAlpin Critical Summary In Angelica, the talented Arthur Phillips (Prague, 3.5 of 5 Stars Nov/Dec 2002) pays homage to Henry James’s famous ghost story, "The Turn of the Screw," but piles on multiple viewpoints to add maddening and obscure layers to the story.

Aug 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

M/C Anderson

M/C Reviews Create an account Home Your Account Submit Review Top 10 Main Menu M/C Reviews 'events' 'screens' 'sounds' 'style' 'words' Feature Issues What's On Your Account Send Reviews Statistics To...

Dec 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Angelica: A Novel

Reader Rating for Angelica
60%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×