Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech, as reviewed by Atlas

I have to admit, I have never been a huge fan of Sharon Creech. I don't DISlike her books, and I can see that they are good, they have just never grabbed me. Until this one!

I had no intention of reading this book next, but as books come in I always skim the jacket covers. This one reads:

Peoples are strange!

The things they are doing and saying - sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads? And why so much saying, so much talking all the time day and night, all those words spilling out of those mouths? Why so much? Why don't they be quiet?

If your brain didn't automatically slip into an Italian accent there, go back and reread it that way. I'll wait....

Okay, now you are ready to read the rest of the book - which I did in less than an hour! The jacket cover led me to read the first chapter, and it all moved so quickly, I was done before I knew it.

The book is narrated entirely by the title character, an angel very much unlike any I've encountered in stories, but quite likeable. As puzzled as he is by humans, he is attached to them, and while unsure of what his exact mission might be, he feels compelled to help the people in his little village in small ways. When a strange American girl by the name of Zola appears, she turns his quiet existence (and that of the village) upside down.

I don't often like books written in colloquialisms, but this one is neither too heavy-handed nor cutesy. My favorite line, from pg. 127: "My foot is in my ear and my head is floating away. I am not knowing anything." I have no idea what that means, but I think I have felt the exact same way.

Another exchange between the angel and Zola shows some of the gentle philosophical questioning in the story:

"Well, it is peoples, you know. Peoples are not going to live a million years."

"Well, then, what am I supposed to be doing?"

Again, nothing heavy-handed, but a nice balance between a simple story (with, yes, a somewhat predictable outcome), and a little what-is-our-purpose pondering. My only question is who I will recommend this to - the easy reading and short chapters make it a possibility for reluctant readers, but the content speaks more toward introspective types. I will try it out on a few of our regulars and let you know what they think! To try it for yourself, follow the link:


  1. I've had this one sitting on my nightstand for weeks. Maybe I'll actually get to it now...

  2. Whew, I sure was relieved after I got past the first line of your review. Thanks for this thoughtful review!
    xx sharon creech