book cover of Angel


(Reich Angel)
A novel by

It is April 1945, and the war is almost over. Above the landscape of a Germany ravaged by bombing and chaotic with refugees and bands of deserters, a tiny, frail aircraft heads through the night. It carries two people for whom the war is not yet over--the General, nursing his wound and his shameful secret, and Freddy, flying him on a senseless mission because anything is better than not flying, and always has been.

As they thread their perilous way between the Allied armies, carrying the last message of a demented Fuhrer, Freddy recalls the turbulent career that has led to this desperate flight. A career rooted in a--seemingly forbidden--passion for flying which, triumphing over all obstacles that family and a rigid society could put in the way, was satisfied only by test-flying the Luftwaffe's top-secret aircraft--the dive-bombing Stuka, the suicidal, rocket-driven Komet. The cost of that single-mindedness has been a blindess to everything else. The brilliant, outrageous career, which brought fame and a nodding acquaintance with rulers of the Third Reich, also brought tragedy and a terrible knowledge.

Who else knew? And, knowing, what could they have done? Freddy, who thought of nothing but flying as the buffoons in brown shirts took over the country, now has to face questions that shortly will haunt an entire nation.

"Angel" revolves around a young German woman whose passion for flying makes her a national figure just as the Nazis are coming to power. It is partly a fictionalization of World War II Germany's only woman test pilot, Hanna Reitsch. It opens with a hair-raising flight over the ruined countryside of Germany at the end of the Second World War.

"Angel" also carries subplots about relationships: Freddy's desire to live up to her father's expectations, her own recognition of the Nazi regime's "final solution," and her lesbian relationship in the tightly controlled environment of fear in war-torn Germany.

Genre: Historical

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