A Time of Angels

by Karen Hesse

Other authorsMichelle Barnes (Illustrator)
Book, 1997



Call number




Hyperion Books for Children (1997), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages


Sick with influenza during the 1918 epidemic and separated from her two sisters, a young Jewish girl living in Boston relies on the help of an old German man, and her visions of angels, to get better and to reunite herself with her family.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Lizzybeth23
I've read this book three times over. It's just that good.
LibraryThing member fingerpost
Hannah Gold is a Jewish girl living in Boston with her two younger sisters, an aunt, and an older woman Vashti, who is a traditional healer of the herbs and tonics variety. Her father is off fighting on the Russian front in World War I and her mother is trapped in Russia. When influenza begins
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killing people by the dozens in her neighborhood, including her beloved aunt, Vashti sends Hannah away, so she can take care of the two sick younger girls. She is sent to a relative in Albany, but on the way she gets so sick that she is accidentally sent to a town in Vermont instead, where she ends up in a crowded emergency hospital. When she begins to recover, the hospital needs more beds. Unable to talk, or move around, she goes to live with an elderly German man who lives alone, but hospital patients regularly. The book takes on a sort of Heidi-like tone then; the sweet convalescing girl and the sweet old man caring for her. But in the end, she knows she must return home, and as she gets better, the idea of how exactly to get home begins to consume her.
There is also "the girl with violet eyes" who is the angel of the title, who Hannah sees from time to time at particularly stressful times of her life.
This was a moving and well told tale. Since the angels ended up in the title, they must have been important to Hesse. Personally, I found the angel element unnecessary and somewhat odd, but I loved everything else enough that it didn't bother me.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

256 p.; 7.5 inches


0786812095 / 9780786812097
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