Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Botticelli Angel - Harry Cauley

I borrowed this lovely read from a friend, and so glad I did.  It's set in America, in the 1920s, in the years before the Depression when John Tree, a grifter (but not a good one), a sometime teacher with a false diploma, and an eye for a pretty woman, comes across an angel.  An angel whose mother has just been waiting for another angel to take him to heaven.  John Tree can do that;  but his heaven just happens to be California.  For if he can get the angel to Hollywood, he can make a fortune.  His adventures across America, with Michael, a simple soul with small boney growths on his shoulder blades are a joy to read.  The village of Paradise, the circus folk, the visit to the Grand Canyon all hold joy for Michael, who asks, at every one of them, "is this heaven?".

Harry Cauley has a light touch writing style and a lovely sense of humour as he takes us along for the ride through all the ups and downs of the journey to California.  Told in the first person, John Tree struggles with his own morals whilst he protects Michael but only because he sees money at the end of the journey.  Funny and heartbreaking in turns, this is an odd little novel which really does deserve more readers.  Make one of them you!