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‘Third Angel’ by Alice Hoffman

Reading this book was a little bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Bits and pieces of it fitted together in different parts at different times and it was only at the end that I saw how the whole thing worked together. For that reason as well as for its entrancing stories and captivating characters I loved it.

The Third Angel starts with oaddy, a modern woman in a London hotel room, hoping to do something very unwise with the man her sister is about to marry. As she waits to continue her betrayal, oaddy is perplexed by hearing the same argument night after night outside the room across the hall.

Part two is set 30 years earlier. Frieda has escaped the neat conservative life her parents have mapped out for her and is working as a maid at the same hotel, where she hears the same argument in the hallway outside Room 707 that puzzled oaddy decades before. Never mind the ghosts, though the dangerous rock star staying in Room 708 is more likely to prove Frieda-s undoing. Mr is he?

Finally, we are taken back to the 1950s, where grieving 12-year-old Lucy is visiting London from the US and staying at the Lion Park Hotel with her sad father and painful stepmother. The haunting of the Lion Park is about to begin, and Lucy is there to witness it.

The extra joy in this book by oprah favourite Alice Hoffman is in working out what each story has to do with the others and tying all the ends together while lapping up the three separate strains of narrative. I loved The Third Angel so much that as soon as I finished it, I went right back to the beginning and started reading it all over again. Could there be any better recommendation?

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