The days stretch out long and hot and restless, Year Seven lurks in a vaguely intimidating manner on the horizon, and the summer holidays just aren’t the same when you are ten suburbs away from all your friends and familiar surroundings, with only annoying boy cousins to hang out with. So Jelly spends a lot of her time in the branches of the apricot tree or down by the creek, the only good things about the crumbly old weatherboard that is the new house.
On Christmas Eve though, Jelly, Gino and Pik find a broken angel in the creek, and everything changes. This is lovely, just lovely. The characters are instantly likeable and perfectly formed, making it impossible not to care about scruffy little Pik, with his chewed nails and determination to keep up, or Nonna, with her velvety cheeks and wrinkled hands, fierce hugs and attitude. Jelly herself is easy to relate to, because while she is a down to earth, resourceful kid, she isn’t perfect. The tiny, clever details the angel is given makes it just as real as the other, human, characters, and very likeable, with the lack of the traditional, simpering angel stereotypes making this screechy, snarly, demanding (grape peeling) otherworldly creature a force to be reckoned with.
I think this would appeal to fans of Martine Murray’s The Slightly True Story of Ceder B Hartley, as the flavours are reminiscent, but still wholly original, and the story bounces tangibly out of the page. Absolutely delightful, I loved it.
We all loved Angel Creek. Congratulations, Sally! And congratulations to Clare for such a wonderful review.