In post-war Canada during the late 1940s, Elly McGuinty and her younger sister, Dot, are newly orphaned. The girls are sent to live with their grandparents in a small prairie town.
Still grieving the loss of her parents, Elly chafes at the responsibility of helping care for Dot and struggles to find a place for herself in her new life.
When a travelling circus comes to town, Elly’s desire for new experiences leads her, Dot, and new friend Stammer - a shy boy mocked for his halting voice - down a path where lives are altered forever.
There is something very special about Book of Birds, October 5, 2016
Book of Birds (Kindle Edition)
When I read the first few chapters it reminded me of something between Anne of Green Gables and Oliver Twist. Yet, LM manages to form a darker plot but keep her quirky, imaginative tone throughout. The way LM describes scenes will make you laugh, and even in the darkest moments of the book, there is a gleam of light in a passing comment or a thought.
BOB is written from the perspective of Elly, a young girl whose parents recently passed. Elly and her little sister, Dot, are on their way to live with their grandparents. Elly is annoyed by her little sister and resents having to start at a new school and take care of a younger sibling, as any child would be. As an outcast, Elly notices a lot about the people in her new town, but doesn’t say too much. The juicy bits she shares only with us, the reader. But as the story unfolds, the darker elements never so much disappear, but are hidden behind Elly’s innocence in such a realistic way. What Elly doesn’t notice, the adult reading the book might see. The story is sweet, sad, and horrifying, but even Elly knows, this is just the way life is.
Sometimes I’d read a paragraph and stop, just to savor what had been written. Ex: “A book is a comfort. It’s a place to hide when things aren’t going well. A book is for when you’ve got no more of your own words, and want to rest your eyes from all the things the world has to show. Things weren’t going well. I guess you could figure by what I’ve already said.”
I wanted to live in this book for a while. Unlike some stories that I needed to know what happened on the next page immediately -- I did not want to rush this story. I really enjoyed the way this story is told: the nostalgia for the 1940’s and childlike wonder is captivating. I can’t wait for another book from this talented author.
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