There’s more than one way to be born again.
Liverpool, 1984. The teenagers at Garston Chapel are the same as the rest of us: The Smiths, U2, crushes, football, mates. The grimy, low-down politics of the Thatcher era casting deep shadows in this proud and broken city, but the kids have got other things on their minds … Jesus Christ Our Lord for one.
Almost normal kids, then.
But Robert isn’t at all normal. Because Robert is visited by angels - if that’s what they are. He can’t tell a soul about his secret. All anyone can see is his strange behaviour as he desperately seeks to understand what they mean, what they want from him.
As Robert’s two worlds merge, the real and the visionary intersect with increasing intensity and what is being asked of him becomes terrifyingly clear.
The Angels of L19 is a moving and entirely original story of young lives at the confluence of faith and doubt, angels and demons, life and death. And where redemption is possible, even for those we think might be lost forever.
Recommendations and Reviews
The Angels of L19 is extraordinary: a blend of closely-observed realism and unsettling Fantasy, wonderful, tragic and absolutely unforgettable. I don’t use the word often or lightly, but this novel is a masterpiece.
Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass and The Thing Itself
Highly original, thought-provoking, personal, and undoubtedly one of the literary highlights of 2021.
Tony Jones, Ginger Nuts of Horror
[A] tremendous novel … brilliantly lays bare the struggles of two teenagers striving to find meaning and comfort in a world increasingly overburdened by misery and despair.
Ian Mond, Locus
The book is beautifully written, making use of a low-key colloquial language that is always apposite and never intrusive or forced.
Nina Allan, The Guardian
Here, then, is one of the novels of the year — a book of substantial scope, style and ambition, and one that speaks eloquently and authoritatively of connection, of kinship, and of what might result when we think to narrow the gap between the singer and the song. Thus, the reading of the book becomes a communion, every passage an article of faith. There are wonders here. Embrace them.
Gary Kaill, Lunate
In the end, The Angels of L19 is a strange, brilliant novel. It’s unsettling when it needs to be, but it is also an excellent coming-of-age story. It’s a novel about blind faith and the pressures of youth. It’s funny, unsettling, and often deeply, deeply uncanny. I don’t think I have ever read a novel quite like it.
Daniel Carpenter, Horrified