After leaving their failed farm in West Virginia, Jared Teeter and his family make their way to Florida, with dreams of fishing, going to the beach, and running their own roadside produce stand. What they find instead is a nightmare in a migrant labor camp, where they become the indentured servants of a soulless crew chief and his mindless henchmen. Vacillating between hope and despair, Jared must stay alert—and alive—to rescue his own family and the prisoners around him from a life of continued degradation.
In the year before he wrote Angel City, Patrick Smith did what he called “physical research," disguising himself and joining migrant crews as they picked whatever vegetable was in season. He mentally recorded the events he encountered and wrote the novel is just a few weeks. His reason for writing Angel City? “The first step toward eliminating injustice is to expose it," he said. Angel City was made into a TV movie in 1980.