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When Angels Die

New York Times Book ReviewNew York Times Best Selling Author Review

by Ellen Tanner Marsh

When Angels Die

What is it like to be a clairvoyant? How does it feel to communicate with the spirit world as clearly as someone else would speak with a fellow human being? For Jeanne Marie Antoinette, the answers are perhaps best described in the subtitle of her astonishing biography, When Angels Die, in which she defines her skills as “The haunting memoir of a clairvoyant blessed and cursed with the ability to ‘see’ through the eyes of missing and murdered children.” 

Indeed, Antoinette has made aiding police and distraught parents searching for missing or abducted children her life’s work. Her calling hasn’t been easy; although she believes her clairvoyance to be a gift, she describes it as a “not so welcomed dark gift” that has left her throughout life struggling to remain grounded between two worlds, the physical and the spiritual. As a single mother, Antoinette supported her two children by working at local psychic fairs while staunchly refusing to take money from the missing children cases that arrived with heartbreaking frequency at her door.

 Although Antoinette provides readers with riveting, behind the scenes accounts of some extraordinary—and high profile— police work, When Angels Die is also a fascinating look at obscure Cuban and Afro-Cuban religions and the author’s personal journey back to her roots. Patron saints, guardian spirits and ancient ceremonies are woven throughout this spiritual journey, and a helpful glossary at the end of the book provides a wealth of information on Santerian, Yoruban and Cuban rituals as well as the Yoruban language.

A prolific author of books and screenplays, Jeanne Marie Antoinette writes with conviction and a deft sense of style. Skeptics who approach her work will find a refreshing lack of proselytizing; indeed, When Angels Die is ultimately a remarkable story about a woman born with a “not so welcomed gift” who made the most of it and, in doing so, made a heroic difference in many people’s lives. 

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