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Angel

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  938 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
The bestselling author of THE THORN BIRDS returns with a novel of laughter, passion and more than a little magic ! 1960, Sydney's Kings Cross. Harriet Purcell leaves her conventional, respectable home and respectable, passionless boyfriend and moves into a rooming house owned by Mrs. Delvecchio Schwartz. There, Harriet finds a life she relishes -- excitement, adventure and ...more
Paperback, 363 pages
Published November 7th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2004)
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Plague of Angels by John Patrick KennedyCity of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareAngelfire by Courtney Allison MoultonStrange Angels by Lili St. Crow
Books with Angel In the Title
35th out of 195 books — 87 voters
A Town Like Alice by Nevil ShuteThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloughIn a Sunburned Country by Bill BrysonOn the Beach by Nevil ShutePicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
Books Set in Australia
150th out of 545 books — 158 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,600)
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Sharon
May 21, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is set in the 1960's in Sydney. Harriet Purcell has started working as an X-ray technician at the Royal Queens Hospital in Sydney.

Although Harriet has been warned by her father about what goes on in the Kings Cross district, Harriet still decides to move into Mrs Delvecchio Schwartz's rooming house. Harriet quickly learns that Mrs Delvecchio Schwartz not only runs a rooming house, but also does other things on the side for more income, such as reading tarot cards and staring into her
...more
Phrynne
Apr 28, 2015 Phrynne rated it it was ok
This was a very disappointing read for me because I expected so much more, both from the ability of the author herself and also from the many good reviews it has had. However it did nothing for me. I found the main character, Harriet, obnoxious, I did not care for the liberal and unnecessary use of swear words and there was too much silly talk about sex. I could not understand how we could possibly be expected to believe that every good looking man who came along fell in love with horrible Harri ...more
Carolyn
Set in the 1960s this tells the story of Harriet Purcell and how she moved away from her conventional family and repressive boyfriend and found love and independence in Kings Cross. Set at a time when women were expected to marry and settle down, giving up their jobs if they had one, Harriet trains to become an X-ray technician at a city hospital and earns enough to rent a small apartment in Kings Cross. She discovers new food, new people and new experiences and gets to meet whores, lesbians, po ...more
☼♄Jülie 


What a wonderful book! I have just turned the last page and am already pining for more.

First published in 2004, this book is cleverly written as a sort of diary...or rather a story fashioned through the entries in a diary beginning on January 1st 1960 and continuing with regular entries until May 1961.

It tells the story of 21 year old Harriett Purcell who, after qualifying as an X-Ray technician and securing a good job position at a Sydney Hospital earning the "coveted" male wage rate...which is
...more
Frances
Apr 01, 2015 Frances rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-authors
I read Colleen McCullough's Angel as part of a reading challenge, after giving up temporarily on her ponderous First Man in Rome. The instant change of pace to a rollicking read meant I finished this book in a few days; work commitments got in the way of it being any quicker. If I were reading a paper version, I'd have to call it a page turner.

The mood was somber in places, laugh out loud funny in others. It was the Aussie slang that made it most fun to read. There's nothing quite like Australia
...more
Kathryn
I wanted to like this, but it always felt like something just didn’t gel in the story.

Harriet Purcell works at a hospital in Sydney as an X-ray technician and is in her early - mid-20s (I think), but from the beginning she seemed much more immature than I would have expected - more like an 18 year old (if not younger) at times. This did improve as the story developed, but then she became tedious - either harping on about the tarot cards that her landlady reads or sex (either her lack of it or ho
...more
Zoey
An interesting story based on the diary entries of a young 22 year old girl who moves into a boarding house full of very colourful characters in Sydney's Kings Cross during the early 1960's.
Really enjoyed the descriptions of the life & times in 1960's Sydney, especially Kings Cross & all its characters, but thought the ending was a bit weird and got really over the "ooohhh aaahh" & HaHaHas by the end. Maybe listening via audio made that more annoying.
Lisachan
Apr 10, 2016 Lisachan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Statene alla larga, per carità.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neide Parafitas
Anos 60. Harriet tem 21 anos e é uma jovem decidida e dona do seu nariz, mas infelizmente não tem a melhor das famílias... A sua família é machista e preconceituosa e a jovem sente que precisa de conviver com outras pessoas, fazer novas coisas, enfim... viver!

Na faculdade Harriet conhece entretanto uma rapariga com a qual faz amizade - Pappy e esta "convida-a" para ir viver consigo para uma casa num dos bairros mal afamados de Sidney, a apelidada "Casa dos Anjos" pelas pessoas que nela habitam.
...more
Josie
Apr 30, 2009 Josie rated it really liked it
I don't know what I was expecting to read, but this wasn't it. Don't get me wrong: I LIKED it, I was just surprised. I was expecting something more realistic, more -- grown-up, I suppose. Instead I got a narrator who says "oooooo-aa!" every couple of pages, a psychic/telepathic child, and a completely mad cast of characters. I liked Jim and Bob, I thought it was obvious who Toby fancied right from the start, and Pappy must be riddled with STDs. Chris and Sister Cas hooking up with the Greek New ...more
Ann
Jun 12, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it
5 stars on pure enjoyment scale. I loved this book and it will be one of those that I totally remember. Written by 'Thornbirds' Australian author, Colleeen McCullough, and originally published as 'Angel Puss', I read as relief from serious reading (Sarum, Edward Rutherford). Granted, I seem to have a particularly twisted, nasty sense of humor. The dialogue was totally smart, clever, entertaining, 'wish I could have said that'. Story involves a 21-22 year old bright female in Australia, finished ...more
Carol Preston
Nov 17, 2013 Carol Preston rated it liked it
Not sure how to rate this story of a young woman leaving her home and family to explore living a completely different kind of life than that which she's grown up with and been groomed to repeat. I couldn't recommend it as it explores so many aspects of life that I found distasteful to read about - prostitution, clairvoyance, adultery, homosexuality.
And yet there were also very touching, poignant and loving aspects too. Colleen McCullough has not lost her ability to draw a reader in and create c
...more
Holly
Nov 18, 2014 Holly rated it did not like it
Honestly do not bother. If it weren't too generous to use the word literary in regards to this book, I would say it was the literary version of the 'Hey! Look at us dumbarse Aussies' theme that the film Crocodile Dundee gave us. Painful overuse and over exaggeration of the Australian slang that is so Aussie we don't even use it in our general conversation. Juvenile narrative, lazy character development and extremely boring. Just awful.
Nicole
Dec 04, 2010 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture
Absolutely loved this book. It was quirky and heart-warming, amazingly honest and a wonderful description of a culture and a lifestyle I know next to nothing about.

Found this inspiring and definitely very good, and will be recommending it for sure!
Brenda
Absolutely loved it...a real 'feel good' book! Loved all the characters, especially Harriot Pursell, Mrs Delvecio Schwartz and of course, Flo! Well worth a read.
Emily
Jan 12, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it
Didn't really like this book; a little crude.
Marlene Lewis
Apr 08, 2012 Marlene Lewis rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story. Colleen McCulloch’s Angel is an odd mixture of fantasy, the supernatural, coming of age and social history. Set in the 1960s it depicts some of the newly acquired freedoms for women during that era – getting a job that is paid at (near) male rates, moving out of home while still single, relationship choices and being able to choose one’s friends. I could say that once unleashed from her conservative family home, Harriet makes some incredibly unrealistic choices but as a chi ...more
Samantha
Oct 26, 2010 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I couldn't decide if I liked it or not when I first read it about year or two ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I read it again for Book Club.
It's definitely a character-driven book and what colourful characters there are! Set in Kings Cross Sydney in the 1960s, it's a story about one young woman starting her life by moving out of home, starting a career (not a job!), and learning about life. Throw in some family, new friends of different ages, genders and persuasions - as well as a bit
...more
Iread Books
Jan 22, 2015 Iread Books rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
The title of this book is actually Angel Puss but most of the reviews are under this title.

I didn't start liking this book until after the climax. It was difficult to connect with Harriet who came across as entitled, immature and artlessly bogan. I think the intention was to paint her as independent, feminist and self confident. Instead Harriet came across as immature, entitled, bratty, aggressive and self-centred. Why the need to swear and rage at people without precedent? That's not standing u
...more
Pamela Darling
Dec 05, 2013 Pamela Darling rated it liked it
I chose to read this book based on its author Colleen McCullough (writer of the Thornbirds) . I had hoped for more than I got. It was easy to read and held my attention, but I was disappointed with the overall content. Because it is written as a diary I thought it lacked the intensity of a story told in the third person. However, that said, it was a clever idea.
Janet Watts
Jan 02, 2015 Janet Watts rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and the author's style. Set in Australia in the 60's, it was a reminder of how far women have come. The main character is ahead of her time, and discovers a community of interesting people, who, to main stream society are eccentric outcasts, but who she can relate with.
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Sep 15, 2010 Dee Renee Chesnut rated it it was ok
Recommended to Dee Renee by: drchesnutwriter@hotmail.com
Shelves: 2010
It only rated 2 stars as it is a character-driven novel whose characters I did not like. I had higher hopes for this book when I started reading it. By page 200, I was bored. I scanned the rest just to see how it ended.
Trounin
Колин Маккалоу больше справок не выдаёт. Пришла пора заканчивать доводить до сведения читателя выкладки из истории Австралии и Древнего Рима, теперь нужно подробнее раскрыть другую тему, всегда присутствовавшую в её произведениях, но не игравшую существенной роли — речь идёт о женской физиологии. Для большего эффекта Колин строит повествование в виде дневниковых записей, длящихся два года. За это время происходит полная трансформация главной героини, изначально девственницы с неуёмной жаждой рас ...more
Deborah Pickstone
4.5 stars

I could cry. Here, in 2004, once again I find the jaunty, humorous CMcC I know and love - so something happened that affected her writing after this and by 2005.

Angel Puss is very Australian. It is almost chick-lit - but of the best sort, if it is that. With a light touch she draws excellent secondary characters - and her central character, Harriet, is a delight. Angel Puss herself never quite comes out of the status of enigma but that is entirely right for the story. But it is not so l
...more
Sheziss
Harriet Purcell es una joven de 21 años dispuesta a romper con todo: con su familia, con sus amigos de toda la vida, con su novio... tiene el novio más soso y deprimente que pueda existir, quiere independizarse de su familia y tener su propia habitación, no dar explicaciones a nadie y tomar sus propias decisiones. Nada más conseguir el diploma de técnica en radiología, empieza a trabajar en el Queens, uno de los grandes hospitales de Sydney por esa época, los años 60. Allí conoce a Pappy, una me ...more
Bev
Jul 30, 2014 Bev rated it did not like it
Don't bother. No, seriously, don't. Ms McCullough's writing style is juvenile at best and in this book she's at her worst. We're expected to believe that the main character has such a bond with her landlady's daughter that she'd move mountains to adopt her, yet we're never shown this bond, only told about it. And the main character herself is obnoxious, self-involved and so very immature, even allowing for her age and the time in which the book is set. Only my compulsiveness kept me from discard ...more
Juliette
May 25, 2014 Juliette rated it it was amazing
A lovely story of a young lady – Harriet – brought up in a very prim and proper Australian home, who fights against her parents and controlling fiancé’s wishes and moves out of home into The House which is situated in the ‘common’ area of Australia during the 1960’s.

The story is written through her eyes, via her diary, and takes us along the path of her finding herself with many interesting twists and turns along the way.

Towards the end I could not put it down! I would definitely recommend it.
Liliana
Jan 29, 2013 Liliana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Terminei agora a leitura e, embora ainda esteja a assimilar tudo, posso dizer que gostei deste livro.
No início, a leitura é um pouco difícil, pois toda a história está escrita em forma de diário e à medida que a leitura avança é-nos transmitido o que a narradora que é a personagem principal, pensa e acha acerca de tudo o que lhe vai acontecendo no dia-a-dia. Toda a história é contada através do seu ponto de vista e das suas opiniões acerca do mundo e dos acontecimentos na "Casa" e trabalho.
Até a
...more
Mollykathleen
Feb 27, 2010 Mollykathleen rated it it was amazing
A fascinating story of a young X-Ray technician in Australia in 1960, when young women were expected to be paragons of virtue, to work only until they married, and to defer to the men in the workplace and at home. The nursing sisters wear starched white headdresses and don't know what to make of Harriet Purcell who wants to kiss off her fiance of too many years, move out of her parents' house, and live her own unconventional life. She winds up in a very unusual rooming house and makes very good ...more
Tracy Bryant
Mar 25, 2016 Tracy Bryant rated it really liked it
Thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Love Colleen McCullough's characters. Never disappoints. Had just been on a bushwalking trip in the Wolgan Valley and Newnes so loved that there was a reference to it in the novel. Such a coincidence.
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Colleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim.

Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. She flourished at Catholic schools and earned a physiology degree from the University of New South Wales in 1963. Planning become a doctor, she found that she had a violent aller
...more
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