Shortly after Jaya’s mother dies, angels start falling from the sky. Her father become obsessed, tracking the angels and predicting where the next one will fall. None of the angels survive their descent to earth, not until Jana stumbles across one on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
What I thought would be a quick, fun read about fallen angels turns out to be a touching story about death, grief and searching for answers. Jaya has been dragged to Edinburgh with her sister, who is more of an enabler of their father’s obsession. Angel mania has spread across the world and there is a big market for those who would like a piece of a real angel. And of course there’s a cult that has risen up, sucking in the vulnerable.
Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.
Jaya decides to hide the angel, to protect her from those who would exploit her. She struggles to communicate, with no shared language other than a fondness for Tunnock’s Teacakes, leading to the affectionate name of Teacake for the angel.
Along the way, Jaya befriends a brother and sister, Calum and Allie, who help her hide Teacake from both her father, the cult and everyone else who wants a piece of her. Allie has cystic fibrosis and is a great representation of someone who is more than their illness. Sick kids can have adventures and romances too.
It’s an own voices LGBT+ book and it feels unashamedly Scottish, from the streets of Edinburgh to the glen where Jaya’s life changed for ever.
Don’t expect to find out much about the angels, it’s much more about the human relationships and how people might react to such a phenomena. It’s a short book and doesn’t go into huge amounts of depth but it suited it. I found it sweet and sad.
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Book Source: Purchased
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