Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Unfinished Angel's Tower

In honor of publication day for The Unfinished Angel, here is a photo of the old stone tower upon which I based the Angel's home in this book. This tower is on the campus of the TASIS school in Montagnola, Switzerland. I love this place!

Here is some of what the Angel says about the tower:

Maybe my tower. . .is not the most attractiful or the most specialty tower in Switzerland. It is just a tower, after all, like so many other towers. . .

It is a tower that stands tall and upending like a good soldier, for nearly four hundred years, not wobbling or falling down. . . There are no windows. You reach out and there is the air, just there. You are high, high above the other houses, and the only things as high are a few trees and, down the road, the tall stickly spire of the church. . .

So, maybe you might think it is nothing specialful, this tower, but to me it is the finest of all the towers in all the world. From the balcony I can see the mountains in a ring all around, a circle of mountains, and on the very top of those mountains . . .is white, white snow, and below the mountains is a blue-green lake, and above the mountains at night is a blue-black sky all pokeled with blue-white stars. From my tower, I can see all the casas in the village and I can see all the peoples coming and going. I can see all the birds flying in the air and the creatures crawling on the ground.

[Note: those aren't typos. This is the way the Angel speaks.]


  1. And that angel, that angel speaks....like an angel. Love seeing the tower, love hearing the angel describe home.

  2. How perfect! I had a fuzzy picture of the tower forming in my head, but I think if I had seen this picture elsewhere I would have recognized it immediately.

  3. Absolutely beautiful! There are so many threads and connections to be made with this heartfelt tale. Having seen you in action (doing a reading) at the National Book Festival in D.C. makes this story come alive. I am hearing your voice as I read. What a gift!

    Lara Ivey
    Grow Up With Books

  4. I knew it must be Casa Fleming as I was reading it. There was no other picture in my mind!

  5. Ken: ?Which Ken is this? I'm glad it's someone who knows the spot.

  6. Ken V, formerly-formerly of TASIS CH, and formerly of St. John's Belgium, now Youth Librarian at the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library. Thanks for feeding my nostalgia with Angel.