Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York.  Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Read more . . .

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.>
Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 22, 2011)

Book Club Ideas

Plan an angel themed book club party for Angelology, despite the fact that most of the angels encountered in Angelology are much closer to Lucifer than a cute little winged cherub.

Decorations

Angel wing party invitations are easy to make. This angel wing template is available to download. Print your invitations out on heavy white paper. Add your party details and decorate with silver or white glitter, or tiny white feathers to make them extra special.

Cover your party table with a white table cloth, white boa feathers, white pillar candles encircled with white feathers or sparkly white tinsel, and little battery-powered tea lights.

Attire

We love to dress up at our book club parties, so if your book club does the same, be sure to whip up some of these easy-to-make angel halos for your guests. All the materials can be found at a craft store and it took just 5 minutes to put one of these halos together. This idea was found at usedeverywhere.com.

Materials: white boas with small feathers, 12 gauge jewelry wire, a glue gun (a must!), a pair of needle nose pliers, scissors, and head bands.

Picture 1 – Halo Support: Cut 2 pieces of wire about 14-inches long. Take one of the pieces of wire and bend it in half, then starting at the center of the head band wrap the wire tightly in both directions a couple turns around the headband. Make a little bend on each to support the halo. Take the second piece of wire and form it into a circle, hooking the ends together. Secure the halo to the ends of the support and crimp down the ends.

Picture 2 – The Feathers: Measure and cut a length of white boa to fit the top of the headband. With glue gun in hand, attach it to the top of the headband. Take another, longer length of boa and wind it tightly around the halo wire, starting and finishing at the back. Overlap both ends just a bit and secure them together with a bit of glue. That’s it!

You can even find angel wings to wear, if you want to really get decked out.

Music

A lyre is similar to a small harp, however, it is played by strumming with a plectrum (similar to a guitar pick), rather than plucking with the fingers, as a harp is played. I couldn’t find any lyre music online, but did find Healing from the Harp by musician Sally Fletcher. This music had me almost feeling the healing powers from St. Michael’s lyre, the object desperately sought by the angelologists and Nephilim in Angelology.


Book Club Menu

This angel-themed menu was fun and easy to plan and prepare.

Heavenly Scallops and Angel Hair Pasta

Golden Parmesan Halos

Ethereal Angel Food Cake

Send guests home with little bags of angel kisses. Angel kisses are a scrumptious meringue cookie that I bake at Christmastime. For this angel-themed party, I substituted white baking chips for the chocolate chips I usually use in this recipe.

Angel Kisses

Our hero Verlaine enjoyed his Corona beer and I had some extra white feather boas … so I grabbed a few koozies, glued on some feathers, popped in a Corona and viola!


Book Club Resources

Ratings at the time this post was published

Goodreads: 3.4 stars (13,746 ratings)
Amazon: 3.4 stars (398 ratings)
LibraryThing: 3.3 stars (360 ratings)
My Rating: 3.5 stars I enjoyed this novel and the biblical background. This genre is one of my favorites (The Name of the Rose, The Da Vinci Code). I found both Evangeline and Celestine engaging, but felt Verlaine and Gabriella were both under-developed. I wanted more background on Verlaine and I had difficulty understanding some of Gabriella’s actions. The story was mostly suspenseful, but a couple of times, predictable.

Discussion Questions

Spoiler Alert: Discussion guide contains spoilers to the book.

1. Do you agree with the angelologists’ decision to withhold knowledge of the Nephilim and their schemes from the general human population?
2. The Bible’s descriptions of angels are very different from the winged cherubs that have grown to dominate the public imagination. Why do you think we’re drawn to the idea of angels while, at the same time, we’ve chosen to play down their fearsomeness?
3. Celestine seems to lead a half-life after descending into the gorge. In what ways do you imagine mortals would be changed after contact with the divine?
4. Why do you think the Nephilim have chosen to let their forefathers remain imprisoned?
5. If you were Evangeline, would you be able to forgive your parents and grandmother from hiding so much from you? Were they really acting in her best interests? Read more . . .


6. Does Verlaine have the wisdom and courage it takes to be an angelologist?
7. Were the nuns of St. Rose Convent betraying or upholding their vows in battling the Gibborim?
8. Should Gabriella have been cast out from the society of angelologists after begetting a child with Percival?
9. Have you ever visited any of the disassembled lyre’s four hiding places? Do you feel that Abigail Rockefeller did a good job of hiding and protecting it?
10. Did you suspect that Evangeline might be Nephilim? What do you think she intends to do with her newfound powers?
(Discussion Questions from Penguin)


Purchase Angelology at your favorite bookseller


The Author

Danielle Trussoni was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin and graduated form the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of’ Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir, which was awarded the 2006 Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, a BookSense pick and one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of 2006. Angelology is Trussoni’s first novel.
Visit author Danielle Trussoni’s website.

Other Works by Author and Recommended Reading

Other Notes and Comments

Do you have any other ideas or recipes for a book club party for Angelology? We would love to have you share them with us! You can leave a comment below and upload pictures as well.