Guardian Angel by Dr. Bob Rich is set during the mid 19th Century in rural Australia. An angel is assigned to live amongst the humans in an Aboriginal community in New South Wales. Her soul was planted in the body of a girl whose Aboriginal mother was raped by an Australian settler. Her mission is to teach universal love. She chose a female body because, “I have always favored being the life form that bears new life.” After this introduction we read about “the life of Maraglindi, child of the land, fruit of an evil deed, and instrument of love.”
Maraglindi is a Jesus figure without the preaching. Her ministry is simple: show love and pass on affection for others through the power of touch. Starting life off as Mick and Glindi’s baby, she reads minds and has green eyes—white man eyes—but Mick does not blame his wife. Glindi would prefer her husband kill the rapist, but wiser voices prevail. “If you do and they find out it’s one of the people, they’ll do terrible payback.”
As a toddler, Bruce MacCaffery, the nicest white man in New South Wales, hires Maraglindi’s parents. Mick’s job is to tame horses and Glindi would work in Mrs. Mac’s home as a servant. Eventually, Mrs. Mac discovers Maraglindi’s intelligence and goodness and takes the child under her wing calling her Mary Fisher. When Mary becomes school age, Mrs. Mac enrolls her in Talbot Ladies’ College where Maraglindi learns very quickly about racial prejudice and hatred.
Dr. Bob Rich has created an extremely memorable character in his guardian angel, Maraglindi. The little Aboriginal child affects everyone she meets. Take the boy Gerald, who commits a heinous crime with his buddies and almost dies from food poisoning. Once recovered, Gerald Kline grows up to become an Anglican preacher dedicating his life to the Lord and helping the Aborigines.
This writer’s favorite character is Kirsten, an older student at Talbot who hates Maraglindi on sight. Maraglindi’s capacity for love eventually turns Kirsten around to become one of her best friends. How the author managed this miracle is told in a very dramatic scene that will keep readers breathless.
Guardian Angel is a sad, but inspirational story that will leave readers with a strong sense of hope and a feeling that life has endless possibilities. Once we put the needs of others ahead of our own we’ll begin to learn the lessons of universal love.
Australian writer Dr. Bob Rich is a self-described mudsmith and psychologist. No matter what his task, he observes life and translates what he sees into words. He uses everything he sees on the faces of people, feels with the touch of a hand, or sense of smell to use as ammunition for his “machine gun of an imagination.” Dr. Rich has a PhD in psychology and has learned the art of handcrafting houses from the earth.