Information about the book
Title: Falling angels.
Author: Tracy Chevalier.
Publisher: Harper Collins.
Number of pages: 404
Main: Maude ColemanOthers: Gertrude, Kitty, Lavinia (Livy), Jenny, Simon, Dorothy…
The story begins January 1901, the morning after Queen Victoria's death, the morning that her son, the King Edward VII becomesmonarch. This is a telling date to begin a novel with
Kitty Coleman. Kitty is an upstanding London lady: beautiful, refined and very, very smart. She has a handsome husband, a plain but intelligentdaughter, and a beautiful home, complete with cook and maid. From all appearances, she is completely and utterly successful and socially accepted. But those standards, stereotypes are Victorian to theextreme, and Kitty is a modern woman. She is bored with her family and her life and longs to be back at home with her nurturing father and brother so she can be free to study, to make art, to dowhatever.
Kitty's opposite personality appears is Gertrude Waterhouse. Gertrude longs to be more than she is in short, the proper Victorian lady: she follows manners books, wears all the right thingsand instructs her two precocious daughters on how to be gentlewomen. Kitty and Gertrude (and their families) are brought together in a chance meeting in a graveyard. The families have abutting plots,and their marked social and cultural differences are immediately recognizable: the Waterhouse's gravestone features a large, romantic, old-fashioned angel, which the Coleman's want removed.
Thefamilies become further related when the Waterhouses, in an effort to keep up with society, move to a more posh, more acceptable house. This house happens to be right next to the Coleman's own. Maude,Kitty's daughter, and Livy, Gertrude's one, join forces in friendship as the families' lives get increasingly complicated. The two girls become confidantes with a gravedigger's son named Simon.