Almost a parody of Edwardian romance novels, Angel is based on a novel of the same name. Our heroine Angel is a young woman whose only disability is a tendency to delude herself, but it serves her well; she quickly becomes a famous novelist with her talent for overblown romantic prose, acquires a mansion named Paradise, and a handsome yet moody artist husband Esme.
The first hint of reality intrudes when Esme returns home from the war sans one limb. Oblivious as ever to his inner turmoil, Angel assures him, “You’ve lost your leg, but it’s not like you’re dead. I’ll buy you a wheelchair and you can go wherever you like.”
Though Angel is now reluctant to make love to Esme, when Esme confesses to being in debt, Angel vows to write another book to pay off his creditors. She’s just about done when Esme comes home stinking drunk one night and attempts to rape her, saying in an almost cartoonishly evil way that he’d like to give her a baby… “with one little leg!” Her cries for help are heard by his sister, who barges into their room and drives him off with his own crutch.
Esme leaves, but by the next day Angel is already asking for him. He’s busy spying on his erstwhile mistress, though, and sees she’s found a replacement for him. He returns to Paradise to an enthusiastic welcome from Angel, who is eager to show him the wheelchair that just arrived.
Esme and his sister look crestfallen, and the next morning Esme is found hanging from the ceiling in his studio. Angel copes with being a widow quite well, telling herself and a reporter that Esme was happy and died of a heart attack. But the discovery of a letter from his mistress sends her sinking into a depression of her own… collecting several cats along the way.