This isn’t the first time I’ve wandered through the pages of this whimsical tale by Colleen McCullough. I first read Angel many, many years ago, borrowed from a library and ever since then I’ve been looking for a copy I can call my own.
As my recent revisit clearly tells me I didn’t actually remember too much of the story itself but for some inexplicable reason the story had maintained its hold on my imagination.
Angel is the story of Harriet Purcell and an Angel called Flo and everything the Harriet Purcells do for their Angel. Set in Sydney of the 1960s Angel tells the astonishing tale of some extraordinary women and their colourful lives on the wrong side of the tracks as they deal with everything from prostitutes and stalkers to crystal balls and fortune telling.
Written in an epostlary style, ie, in the form of diary entries made by its protagonist Harriett Purcell it traces her coming of age as she “broke from her chrysalis and changed into a strong, brown moth.” And oh, what a moth!
Like a well tuned instrument angel sings a plaintive song of courage, believing in yourself, and standing up for your beliefs. I’d give the book a 4.5/5 for crafting a tale of such inspiration.