I am reading The Unfinished Angel, by Sharon Creech, who won the Newbery Award for Walk Two Moons, and who has written several other wonderful books. This book is delighting me more than any book I have read in a while.
The narrator is an angel living in the tower of an old villa in a village in southern/Italian Switzerland. The angel has been there for 400 years, but is more than a little unsure of he/she is supposed to be doing: “An angel is supposed to be a happy being, no? Angels are supposed to float about bringing love and goodwill and good fortune, no? I do not know where I got these ideas. Maybe they are wrong. Me, I am not feeling all that cheerful with the peoples around, and I am not finding many peoples deserving of the splashes of love and good fortune, even if I knew how to splash and where to get the love and good fortune.”
I find myself reading it out loud in a half-Italian/half-Slavic accent and giggling.
I quote this chapter in full:
Hairs and Feets
You won’t believe this, but there are peoples who pay money to other peoples to wash their hairs and even to paint colors on their toes. Is really! And in the same world of peoples there are other peoples who have to crawl in the dirt scrounging for a measly piece of garbage to eat. I am not fabbragrating! Don’t get me started.
At night I swish in the heads of the peoples with the clean hairs and feets, showing them the peoples crawling in the dirt, but in the morning when the clean peoples wake up they have already forgotten. I think maybe it is my fault that they forget so quick and so it is my fault that there are peoples who have to crawl in the dirt. I am not knowing enough. What are the other angels doing?
I am breathless with wonder at the ability of some writers to juggle words like luftballons.