Book Review: Robert Welbourn’s Ideal Angels

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Ideal Angels is a fast-paced romance for the digital-crazed age. Hard-hitting, honest and simply un-put-downable, this debut novel from Robert Welbourn will stick in your mind long after turning the final page…

The story follows a young couple’s relationship in this social-media crazed culture we live in. With the narrator being hugely sceptical of our obsession with getting the ‘perfect Instagram shot’ and living a life valued by likes and follows, Welbourn highlights the ills ingrained into the social media generation. The story shows the relationship between the narrator (who remains unnamed throughout the text) and Eloise Dunhill, a mysterious character who has a high profile in the world of ‘Instafamous’ celebrities. The novel touches on the effects of the internet on their relationship, how it develops, and sheds a critical light on our own values in relationships, both romantic and friendly.

It definitely took a while to become accustomed to the second person narrative, however this clever touch allows for an insightful and brutally honest depiction of modern-day relationships. The dry sense of humour incorporated into the narrative alongside the constant ominous tone allows us to empathise and care for the narrator; even though he remains unnamed, we care for him and his welfare deeply, especially under the influence of the mystifying Eloise. Their relationship is passionate, spirited and heartfelt, however there is the impression of, like many social media celebs, something too good to be true…

The message of the book is so honestly and brutally relevant to those loyal users of social media in our current culture – as Welbourn poignantly demonstrates, who knows what someone could be hiding from the life they choose to share with the world? Eloise chooses to document everything she does on social media, including her relationship with the narrator, but who knows what lurks behind her glossy social media image? We begin to ask – who really is Eloise? Welbourn creates an intriguing character here, a character who is followed by a sense of tension which makes his debut novel a true page-turner for any lover of fast-paced and intense story-telling.

Dark, gripping and with a jaw-dropping twist which will leave you aghast for weeks, this dazzling debut from a local writer is not one to miss. An ideal stocking filler for anyone who loves a juicy and thrilling story to sink their teeth into…

Get the book from Amazon here.

 

Megan Wall

 

Images: Goodreads, Amazon