Thank you, Farrell Mason, for your lovely new novel, The Angel and the Raven. A friend bought it for me at Parnassus yesterday and pressed it into my hands with her warmest recommendation. I have spent this afternoon outside reading – and though I am not finished, it has been a beautiful gift to me today.
I loved being reminded of the French tradition of “Cloches volants,” or flying bells, “made from sweet pastry dough and chocolate, honoring the tradition that all the church bells in France fly away in mourning to the Vatican on Good Friday. But on Easter morning, the bells return, ringing for the resurrection of life, laden full with gifts of chocolate bells and decorative eggs for the children.”
The Angel and the Raven tells the story of Gabrielle, an orphan raised in a convent, who later finds her way to a rather special bakery in Paris where she will learn her true identity as an angel. At her new lodging, Gabrielle meets a host of other angels, including even the very large, tall, and intimidating Baabar, a Muslim. Gabrielle must decide whether she wants to embrace her new identity – and if so, what it means to be an angel on earth. She was very comfortable with her prior life in the convent as a “simple, happy baker. I was always at my best in the kitchen, doing what was my passion,” she thinks. “Peace was in the bread.” Gabrielle is being asked to let her heart expand and to set about the business of feeding bodies and souls.
The Angel and the Raven takes us all over Paris and deep into what it means to find your calling and do good in the world. It is an encouragement.
Farrell Mason lives in Nashville with her husband and five children and is currently completing her Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt. Her first novel, Alma Gloria and the Olive Tree, was published in 2012. You can follow Farrell’s weekly posts at Breadandhoneyblog.net.