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The Angels’ Share


A Jamaican father and his adult son travel across the island together in a touching and humorous novel that explores family reconciliation.

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Discussion Guide for The Angels’ Share

1. Upon hearing Angela’s name at their first meeting, Nigel Doril asks her, “Do you know Angela is Spanish for angels?” How significant is the naming of the character “Angela” to the thematic development of the book?

2. How does the fact that Angela is a “massager” add to the overall theme of the book? How is the story and the various themes enhanced or enriched by the Angela character?

3. The tease “Call you father now, no” is woven throughout chapter nine. In what way is the phrase and the chapter in general informing about how the presence of fathers impact adolescent behavior?

4. In chapter five, we see Nigel Doril disturbed by the encounter with a homeless man who has been exposed to the acidic red lake and later dies while awaiting transportation to the hospital by the police. Why is he so upset over the treatment of this stranger, and how does that relate to the overall theme and contextual fabric of the book?

5. How did your opinion of each character change throughout the story? Whose story did you enjoy the most? What character did you feel you would love to explore more and why?

6. The song “Help Me Make it Through the Night” is another reoccurring element of the book.  What is the significance of this song to you and did it help you in any way in understanding or liking the story?

7. Nigel’s quest to find the woman he has been in love with for thirty-five years is the key story line that drives the plot. Is the actual existence of this woman important to the overall theme and success of the story? Does it matter if she exists or not?

8. When Everton finally confronts his father, what is to be learned from the fact that he is drunk and that the first thing he blurts out is “why you never loved my mother”?  How significant a role does Everton’s mother play in the story?

9. When Everton hears his father is missing, he goes almost immediately to search for his list: “Ten Questions for My Father.” He searches for the original list he had written years ago though he has it memorized. Discuss what this means.

10. Would you have loved to know what the “Ten Questions for My Father” were? Did you get the essence of the questions from the story even though they were not revealed literally?  Discuss why you think the list was not revealed literally, and how does that impact the story? Create your own list of what the questions could be and discuss how you came up with the list.

11. In what way do you think the opening scenes and sequences set up the rest of the book?

12. Discuss why Angela gives Everton a sensuous massage in chapter twenty-seven and leaves without having sex with him though it is apparent she wants to. Is she trying to make a statement and what would that be?