Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses' lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses' twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.
I received a copy of this book from the Librarything’s Giveaway program.
I just finished and I’m still staggering a bit from the abruptness of the resolution. This is not an easy book to read, it is not the most lighthearted or positive novel you could pick up, but if you are willing to submerge yourself for a bit in a grimy world then by all means pick this book up.
The writing itself is gorgeous, poetic but never overwhelming or syrupy. The characters are well crafted and the setting itself, a New Orleans neighborhood, is a character all of its own. The descriptions are incredibly vivid, the atmosphere suffocating as we follow Halley’s days. Just managing to be a normal teenager seems like an impossible feat within the confines of her life.
I will not reveal the ending. It might not be the most original, but it is paced so intelligently that it will stay in your mind long after you read the last line.