by Annie Rose Welch
How do you get there, darlin’? Well, na’, you start by taking Brighten Place. Follow that road all the way down to Marigny Street. After you travel a little distance you’ll come to an old Red Dirt Road, and that road will take you even further, to Lotus Blossom Lane, but you’ve already been that way. Na’ you’re exactly where you should be, darlin’. You’ve arrived at The Crossroads of your life.
Raphael Rose is dying of pneumonia. As he waits on the waning clock of mortality to chime, he has a story to share. One of star-crossed lovers he has never lost hope for.
Two doors down, Madam Catalina has her own story – a shocking past, a love of a lifetime left undone.
Locked behind the doors of Charity Hospital during Hurricane Evangeline, the tangling of souls has unraveled and left each of them at the crossroads of their life. And in the end, whichever road they choose will lead them home.
In many ways each of the books of the Saving Angels series is about life. Not just being or staying alive, but actually living during the time you have. Every story has been about appreciating every moment you're given, for standing up and fighting for what you believe in and for what's right, and for taking hold of the opportunities that come your way. Every story in the series has been about love - finding the love of your lifetime, learning that love takes work, realizing and understanding that with love comes risk, and believing that you're truly stronger with love in your life than without it.
In Crossroads we're shown these truths with the story of Madame Catalina and her angel Raphael. It's about them finding their love, overcoming obstacles and being overcome, losing their love, feeling unworthy of reclaiming their love, living life to the best of their abilities and finally (truly) learning the ultimate lesson: that love especially when it's true, is the most powerful force on earth.
We're also brought back to Eve and Gabriel in Crossroads, or perhaps it's more accurate to say that Eve and Gabriel are brought back to each other. I already fell in love with these two (in Marigny Street, book 1 of the series) and seeing them together again, watching them struggle to find a solid footing with one another again was wonderful. Seeing them learn from the mistakes and choices that Raphael and Catalina made in their youth was beautiful. Neither Eve nor Gabriel are the same people they were in Marigny Street; the course of Eve's life changed after the dream was over and Gabriel's life was altered by his experiences as well. While changed, they are in many ways stronger than they were the last time we saw them together and I think because of their differences they are even more suited for one another.
There are so many threads being brought together in Crossroads - ones that I didn't even realize were left hanging in all the previous stories and books. With each of the previous Saving Angels books I thought I was catching all the important bits, but one thing that Crossroads has shown me is that Annie Rose Welch is far more subtle with nuance than I realized and that she's a master of weaving an intricate tale, especially this one with it’s abundance of incredibly delicate threads. Now I’m poised to read the final book, the final story of the series… And I can’t imagine what’s going to come next.
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