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Reviewed by Jennifer Donovan for Readers' Favorite
Guarding Angel by Darlene A. Williams is written from the point of view of a young girl named Angel who suffers physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her mother. Angel and her mother live with Angel’s grandmother who does everything she can to protect Angel once she discovers that her daughter, Margret, is a child abuser. Unfortunately, she cannot always be around, and even she is in danger when Margret’s eyes turn black and her evil side emerges. On occasion, Margret will come to herself and apologize for what she has done, but she is never the loving and affectionate mother that Angel so badly craves. After discovering one of her mother’s witchcraft books, it becomes apparent that sinister forces are contributing to Margret’s outbursts, and Angel will not only have to survive her mother but also the dark forces telling her mother to kill her.
A blend of literary fiction and horror with Christianity at its core, Guarding Angel was a dark tale that caused me to feel fear, anger, and sadness because no one seems to care enough to save Angel from her circumstances. As Angel grows older, she begins to tell more people about her plight, but the years continue to pass with no intervention from the authorities. As a new mother myself, I cannot imagine how anyone could treat a child the way Margret does, and I just wanted to wrap Angel in my arms, comfort her, and whisk her away to safety. Christian readers who do not enjoy books with dark themes or profane words may want to skip this one. As a non-religious reader, I did not feel that the book was proselytizing, and I was still able to enjoy the book all the way up to its dramatic climax and resolution.
The audiobook was narrated by Joey Clarkson. She does a good job of varying her voice and inflections in order to portray the various characters. My favorite is her voice for Margret; it is so flat and affectless that it perfectly embodies a narcissistic, unloving, abusive mother figure. She also does a fantastic job of portraying children’s voices. The audio production was professionally rendered, making the audiobook an enjoyable experience overall.