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The story begins in a tiny mountain village in post-WWII Spain. A pale-skinned, red-haired woman who "barks like a dog" and carries some sort of witch's book has bought a house there and has the whole place in an uproar. A lowly goat herder by the name of Domingo is the first one to approach her. She could be either witch or an angel for all he knows. But whatever the case, he is instantly enchanted by her sweet charm.
Angela, who is actually just an English woman looking for a fresh start, becomes known as Domingo's Angel. The two of them are inseparable, and their romance forms a warm undercurrent throughout the book. However, what I found most clever about this story is that Angela's arrival does more than just spawn gossip. Her presence uncovers some very real wounds, but in a good way.
Everyone suffered tremendous losses in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). They had done well to push past their grief and get on with the business of living. But, they hadn't really found closure, and they hadn't really healed. Angela helps them do just that, particularly the formidable Rosalba, the town's most important (and feared) woman. And in return, Angela also finds closure for her painful past.
I absolutely loved the way Ms. Twist weaved together the real-time events of Angela, Domingo, and the townspeople with the past atrocities the people around them had to survive. Instead of being info-dumpy as a lot of backstory can be in novels, she wrote it in seamlessly. Characters that came across in the beginning as cold and aloof became so very real and human as I read about their struggles.
Besides the story itself, I love Ms. Twist's writing style. It's smooth, vivid, and lyrical--just a pleasure to read. If I hadn't had to stop to eat, work, and sleep, I'd have finished it in a day. And that's rare for me.
If you're looking for a great read, look no further. I'd recommend Domingo's Angel for young adults and beyond, particularly those fond of sweet, historical romance. You'll be glad you did!