Publisher: William Heinemann Australia
Setting: Angels Gate is set in fairly modern times around about 1980-1990. I know this because of the way the people dress and by the way the people talk. The way the people in the novel talk is very similar to how people talk now but the people in the novel don’t use as much slang as most people do now. The way the people in the novel dress is also very similar to how people dress now but the people in the novel wear daggy clothes which are out of fashion now. A good example of how the people in the novel dress similarly but really daggy to people now, is when Julia wore a pink dress with puffy sleeves and silver high heel shoes to a dance.
It is set in a country town called Jericho and I think the town is in Australia because the bush landscape around the town is very similar to Tasmania and the trees in the bush are Australian natives such as the gum.
I feel that it isn’t that important where this book is set as long as it is in a country town with bush landscapes. If it were set in the city it wouldn’t be very good because the wild children wouldn’t get very wild because there are always people around. Another reason it wouldn’t be very good is that the wild children would be found much easier as there are not as many places to hide in the city as compared to the bush.
Plot: Angel’s Gate is about two children Mickey and Leena who disappear after the murder of their father Patrick Flannagan. The town’s people first knew the children were still alive when eggs started to go missing from farm chicken yards on the outskirts of town.
The people in the town searched for the children but they didn’t find them until one night when Leena got trapped in a chicken yard and was caught. Leena was taken to a house called “The Laurels” which was a doctor’s surgery. Leena was looked after in the surgery where she got to know Julia and Kim who were the children of the doctor. She told them where her brother Mickey was hiding and that he was different.
Mickey was eventually caught when Kim and Julia’s boyfriend Bobby went camping. They found where Mickey was hiding and trapped him there so the police could get him. Once he was caught they found out that Mickey was the person who killed Patrick Flannagan and it was an accident so the people who were going to be charged for the murder were released.
Main Characters: Kim: Kim is about 12 years old and he is fairly popular at school. He can over exaggerate a bit but he is generally truthful and he is very kind and caring. At home he is really nice and always helps doing jobs around the house as well as helping in the doctor’s surgery. Kim really likes art and is also a very talented artist. His dream is to have a bike but he is not allowed to have one.
Julia: Julia is Kim’s sister and she has a boyfriend called Bobby. Julia is rather insensitive towards Kim and her family and all she talks about is Bobby. Julia is in her last year at school and next year she has to go to a private school on the coast. Julia doesn’t want to go to the private school, as she wants to become a manager of a hotel. Julia works at a caf in town and also works as a waitress part time at the local pub.
Bobby: Bobby is a typical country kid who has lived on a farm his whole life. He now works on his dad’s farm and he gets paid. He loves cars and has his own shevy ute which he always uses to take Julia for drives in. He is really kind and caring and doesn’t care if Kim hangs around him when he is with Julia. Bobby wants to move to the coast once he has earned enough money to get a house.
Leena: Leena is one of the wild children and she is the oldest one of the two. She is very nice to Kim but she doesn’t like the rest of the family as much as she cares for him. When she was first captured she wouldn’t speak to anyone but eventually did once she knew the family was nice.
Mickey: Mickey is the other wild child and he really is wild. He can’t speak properly and he makes weird noises like animals do. Leena says that he is nice and even caring at times if he knows you and trusts you.
Theme:I feel the main theme is a combination of adventure, action, friendship and relationship all rolled into one. These themes make the book fairly exciting and interesting from the very start and gets much better once you get into it.
Style: During the whole book Gary Crew has used a blend of exciting action and day to day living to create a great novel. Gary Crew has used Kim as one of the main characters to tell the story about the wild children. Gary Crew writes this very well because Kim thinks the same way as I imagine a boy his age thinks. Kim tells about his feelings, thoughts, friendships and personal ‘experience’ and this makes the story very interesting.
“We beached the raft at an opening in the logs and carried our things to the land. Bobby was faster than me over the fallen timber. He seemed to have a way of running low, leaping from log to log, as if he was born to do it. I went over on all fours, terrified that I would slip and fall into the darkness beneath.” Page 213
“I pressed myself flat against the rocks. I felt my knees go weak and was afraid that that they would buckle under me. Suddenly Bobby was back. Without a word he grabbed my arm and pulled me down the track after him. He stopped beneath the stunted figs. ‘Sorry Kimbo, but I wanted to get you away. Somewhere in the rock above that clearing there’s a cave. I couldn’t see an entrance, not in the dark, but that’s where the fire is. And whoever’s in there is cooking meat. Can you smell it?” Page 217-218
I found this novel fairly easy to get into because of the basic sentences and easy words but it took a while to get exciting which made it long winded. In this novel there is not much humor and not much excitement, which makes it boring most of the time.
Opinion: I felt very disappointed once I had finished the book because I had read 270 pages and it wasn’t worth the time as it was boring and there was not many exciting parts in it. This has been the worst book I have ever read and I don’t recommend this book to anyone.