No. 74 among the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century West
San Francisco Chronicle
A haunting tale of two brothers on separate odysseys of self-discovery. Twenty-four years after war correspondent Daniel McLeod is killed in a Viet Cong ambush, his only brother Cassidy is mysteriously drawn to their Wyoming hometown, where he must confront a lifetime of his own ghosts. Their story is about how we seek equilibrium, a delicate balance between memory and the unknown, dislocation and homecoming, loss and restoration.
Set against the deceptive simplicity of a small town on the high plains, Angel Fire is a story of mythic proportions. It resonates with the rhythms of tales told for millennia, but they are written anew here, fresh as a Wyoming summer breeze. It resonates with the rhythms of a small town, the blessings of memory, and the pain of loss.
Praise for ANGEL FIRE
“Reminiscent of Charles Frazier’s ‘Cold Mountain’ … (Franscell’s) themes involve a fresh approach to our rural roots as a font for the elusive American spirit.” — USA Today
“A beautiful novel of family love and loyalty set in Wyoming … Reminiscent of Robert Olin Butler, Ron Franscell has a wonderful command of the English language and a writing style that cannot fail to capture the reader’s imagination. Recommended.” — Library Journal
“Tender prose … a heart-wrenching story of love and loss and familial connections … Using richly descriptive, flowing prose and artful plotting, Franscell has woven together the quite impact of childhood in a small town and the complexities of adulthood. In the challenges of Daniel and Cassidy McLeod, we see our our problems and looming self-doubt. In their triumphs, we envision hopes all our own.” — Denver Post
“Angel Fire documents [Franscell] as an author with an immense ability for language and for storytelling. Highly recommended.” — Midwest Book Review
“Dramatic, impressively crafted…an important novel of haunting and mythic proportions.” — Author Melissa Pritchard
“Like Ray Bradbury’s ‘Dandelion Wine,’ though in a much harder and less sentimental vein, ‘Angel Fire’ has a dreamy, intoxicating quality, full of wistful nostalgia and melancholy … Franscell’s Wyoming is as close to the real Wyoming as I’ve ever read. There’s nothing like a native’s-eye view to get an accurate picture of that enigmatic place.” — Boulder (CO) Daily Camera
“Angel Fire is a coming-of-age story without easy answers or pat solutions to life’s explained — and more often unexplained — circumstances. … It may be simply in its approach, but it is also complex — as all stories about the human condition should be. While Franscell easily and wonderfully paints the idyllic small-town picture, he also delves into the human psyche, a darker and more intimidating proposition.” — San Bernardino (CA) Sun
“Ron Franscell’s achievement is to provide us with deep insights and understanding of the human condition rarely seen in contemporary novels.” — WARREN ADLER, author of “Random Hearts” and “War of the Roses”
The original trade paperback edition published by Laughing Owl Publishing. Mass-market paperback edition published by Berkley Books (Penguin/Putnam)