Daydreams of Angels

Daydreams of Angels - Heather O'Neill Somewhere between three and four stars for this one. This is my first encounter with Heather O'Neill, and I really enjoyed her tidy, evocative prose and the way each of the stories, although set in a fantasy world with a common theme (angels), had its own internal logic. Most were quite funny, but a couple were simply chilling. One of the stories that sticks most with me (Bartok for Children) starts with the death of a soldier, followed by a series of detailed and rather surreal adventures wherein it appears he didn't die, but was mended by a "toymaker", followed by a second death, and a second descent into surrealness. We are left speculating whether the whole story is a death-dream from the first shooting. Another, that made me smile, was a short story called "Heaven", purportedly told by a grandfather about the time when he was technically dead as a child; he tells about finding himself on a train full of animals (because animals go to heaven too!), presided over by a bunch of officious angels. And I also got a great kick out of a story ("Swan Lake for Beginners") that started with the notion of a town-ful of cloned Nureyevs being raised under the aegis of an embarrassed Soviet Union - in a small town in Northern Quebec, of all places. Of course, none of them wants to dance...

It was very easy to slip in and out of these little fantasy worlds, and then to put down the book for a few minutes between to muse about the mood and the meaning of them.

I will look for this author again.