Release date: Nov 2009 UK
Genre: Fantasy/ Angel Fiction /
Target audience: 9+
Summary from Amazon:
'People are strange! The things they are doing and saying - sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads?' Angel, not fond of people at the best of times and having an identity crisis, is about to meet Zola - a talkative young girl who makes herself at home in Angel's tower in a village high in the Swiss Alps. 'This Zola is a lot bossy,' Angel thinks. But out of their bickering an unexpected friendship forms, which benefits the entire village, reminding us that magic can be found in even the most ordinary acts of kindness.
It is hardly a secret that I have a thing for angel stories. I think perhaps I love them so much because angels are innately good, unless they're fallen angels obviously. But even then I love those types of angel books too. Okay, I have no idea why I have an angel book obsession but I do.
The Unfinished Angel is a very quick read. It is just 164 pages long. Yet every single page and every single word were simply a joy to read. Creech has written the most beautiful and endearing story about one Angel who is trying his/her best to protect the people in his/her care. For the purposes of the review I'm going to refer to Angel as a "he" but that is most certainly debatable. It is really hard to not give a character a gender when you're writing about them.
Angel wonders if he has been sent to be a ground angel too early. He worries that he hasn't been given a mission and if he is fulfilling his responsibility to the right people. Angel's voice is incredibly convincing. I actually giggled out loud as I read Angel's musings about peoples. Yes, we are always referred to as peoples. Angel believes he is missing some of the required vocabularly. He believes ground angels should understand every language of the world. Angel's difficulty with English was the most adorable thing to read and I'm sure he would disapprove of me saying such a thing. He is an Angel. I'm just a peoples and I most certainly should not think of him as a cute pet. But I can't help myself, I'm one of the peoples after all.
Zola is a young girl who moves into the Casa where Angel floats and flishes. He finds her bossy but he also admires her and their growing friendship was fascinating to follow from Angel's perspective. As the story develops, Angel shares with us some of the history of the characters that he watches over. There is Signora Divino who puts snakes in the yard of the Casa when she thinks no one is looking and her Grandson Vinny who is constantly making noise and mischief. Each new character adds another colour to the story.
The plot moves very swiftly and in some ways I think the way it unfolds isn't very surprising. There are no twists and turns and for once this is no bad thing. The nature of this story is about discovery and often what we discover about ourselves isn't all that surprising. Sometimes it is what we knew all along.
Overall, The Unfinished Angel is a simple yet beautifully written and well executed story. It is the type of book that you can read again and again just to hear the funny and at times grumpy voice of Angel. I absolutely loved it. This is a book of the highest quality of writing and I cannot recommend it enough. For an angel fan like me, it is a must read!