Review of Anne Rice’s Angel Time

Anne Rice is the author of the well-known Vampire Chronicles, three of which have been made into films.  In 1998 she converted to Catholicism, as she describes on her website, and decided to use her writing talents and future books in service to God.

In 1998 I returned to the Catholic Church… I realized that the greatest thing I could do to show my complete love for Him was to consecrate my work to Him—to use any talent I had acquired as a writer, as a storyteller, as a novelist—for Him and for Him alone…

Betty Carter at First Things gives a thoughtful review of Rice’s forthcoming novel Angel Time, and compares it to her previous books, finding some interesting parallels.

Some writers have one story that they tell again and again in different ways, and often that story is autobiography. Charles Dickens liked to write about deserving young men who fall on hard times and then, through the help of benevolent friends, recover a birthright; this was Dickens’s own life, retold as David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, or Nicholas Nickelby. In the case of Anne Rice, it’s no accident that two of her most significant characters—Louis of Interview with the Vampire (probably her best book), and now Lucky the Fox—begin as innocent children in devout Catholic families, lose beloved family members through cruel accidents and alcoholism, and at last feel themselves ripped from their old lives by dark forces that turn them into creatures of darkness—whether vampires or assassins.

This is Rice’s life. Like Louis’ brother and Lucky’s mother, her own mother died tragically at a young age. Anne was a teenager then, still a very devout Catholic, even dreaming of the priesthood (her outlook, like her birth name, Harold Allen, was androgynous). But faith melted away as she grew older and became curious about the intellectual, cultural, and sexual world outside the Church. Rice eventually came to see Christianity as beautiful but repressive and God as a fiction. She married a scholar, lost a young daughter to leukemia a few years later, and out of her own darkness produced dark stories about beautiful, brooding creatures who wrestle with questions of immortality and faith. Still obsessed with religious art and symbols, she yearned for the thing she couldn’t accept. (Continue)


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