My (brief) take on Eugene Woodbury’s Angel Falling Softly

Here’s the blurb I provided Zarahemla Books for Eugene Woodbury’s vampire/Mormon novel Angel Falling Softly:

In melding the vampire genre with Mormon literary fiction, Eugene Woodbury has created a hybrid that is startling, fresh, insightful and heartbreaking. When I first heard of this audacious project, I was both skeptical and excited. What’s remarkable about Angel Falling Softly isn’t just that Eugene does something new with vampire tropes (that in this case also involve the worlds of bio-tech and high finance) or that he provides a complex, touching portrait of a Mormon mother desperately trying to save her terminally ill child. It’s that he weaves these elements together with well-deployed literary (often Biblical) allusions and quotations that add substance to the questions raised about belief, redemption, desire, sin and death. The novel is insistently literary while being solidly genre-based. Sounds pretty cool, right? And yet what most amazed me is that he pulls it all off without violating the supernatural and metaphysical boundaries of
Mormonism or of the vampire genre. Which is not to say that the story is believable — it’s fantasy — but rather that by enforcing (and pushing against) these boundaries, he plays the two worlds against each other in way that maximizes reading pleasure and says something new about the Mormon experience

Angel Falling Softly is available from Zarahemla Books. Also be sure to check out Eugene Woodbury’s Web site.

Content Warning: AMV draws readers from a fairly wide spectrum of the Mormon audience. Thus, I think it’s only fair to warn that Angel Falling Softly contains a couple of scenes of foreplayish but not at all sexy vampire seductions (that end in feedings  — not sex) and one scene of marital sex that is sort of graphic but more with metaphorical than descriptive terms. None of the scenes are gratuitous — meaning they add to the story and the development of characters and the consequences of the story would be lessened without them. Nor are they particularly arousing. And really, parts of the Bible are much more sexy than what’s found in the novel.

5 thoughts on “My (brief) take on Eugene Woodbury’s Angel Falling Softly”

  1. So…

    Did my content warning scare you all off? I hope not. It’s a unique, fascinating, very well-done addition to the world of Mormon fiction. Buy it and give it to the Twilight lovers in your life (or at least those over the age of 18).

  2. William, have you read Twilight?

    I’ve read both Twilight and Angel Falling Softly (and reviewed the latter here). As far as I can see the only similarity is that they both have the word “vampire” somewhere in the text.

    Re your warning: Mind, I’m coming from the romance genre, so your warning wouldn’t have put me off, but it would have left me scratching my head wondering where the explicit stuff was. 😉

  3. I have read Twilight. I haven’t read the other novels in the series. But yeah, that’s part of my point — Eugene isn’t just drawing on a vague vampire mystique. In Angel Falling Softly, the collision of the two worlds (Mormon, vampire) has consequences for the people involved. And — the main characters make choices and act.

    Regarding the warning, it’s clearly intended for the mainstream Mormon audience. I’d bet that your romance novels have different definitions of explicit than Mormon (or Christian) market ones do.

  4. I apologize if I came off snarky, William. That wasn’t my intent. I had been directed to this link about adult female Twilight rabid fan girls some time back and when I read your comment, it occurred to me that this type of reader might not “get” Eugene’s novel. Or they might, I don’t know. It was a knee-jerk reaction on my part.

  5. No problem. I didn’t think you were being snarky — I thought you were pointing out exactly what you were: that most Twilighters probably aren’t the natural readership for Angel Falling Softly.


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