March 9, 2014
On a cold night in January, a stranger appears on the doorstep of Margaret Quinn, a widow living a solitary existence in a small Pennsylvania town. A nine-year-old orphan named Norah, dressed in tatters, claims to have found a welcome there. Margaret’s own daughter, Erica, ran away 10 years earlier, and the orphan appears at first to be an answer to a mother’s prayers. Margaret passes off Norah as her granddaughter and enrolls her in school, where Norah reveals to the other children her mysterious, unearthly powers.
The arrival of Norah leads Margaret’s sister Diane to look into the disappearance of Erica Quinn. In 1975, the teenager had joined her angry young boyfriend in a quest across the country to meet up with a band of anarchists calling themselves the Angels of Destruction. Urged on by Norah, Diane follows the trail of the runaways to the little town of Madrid, New Mexico.
In the meantime, both Margaret and Norah are being watched by a man in a fedora who has some unearthly powers of his own. Both plots collide in the final section of the book as the town turns against young Norah and her friends and Diane uncovers the truth behind the Angels of Destruction.
Angels of Destruction is an unforgettable story of hope and fear, heartache and redemption. The sage of the Quinn family unfolds against an America wracked by change. As it delicately dances on the line between the real and the imagined, this mesmerizing new novel confirms Keith Donohue’s standing as one of our most inspiring and inventive novelists.