Saturday, March 01, 2008


Birds in Fall by Brad Kessler

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Canadian Book Challenge: Nova Scotia
This book begins with Russell, an ornithologist, telling about his flight from New York to Holland when something goes seriously wrong. In that first chapter, you get a slight introduction to several of the ill-fated passengers on the plane. The next chapter, we meet Kevin, an innkeeper on Trachie Island who sees the plane as it hits the water. Kevin and his partner, Douglas, gear up for the newly arriving guests, friends and family of the victims. The main character from this point is Ana, Russell's wife, and a fellow ornithologist. From that first gripping chapter, through the arrival of the grieving families, to five years later, we are taken on a journey through grief, acceptance, and moving on. Along the trip, Kessler weaves in facts about the migratory habits of the birds who pass over the island each spring and fall. Even though the subject matter is incredibly sad, Kessler maintains a matter-of-fact level that keeps the novel from becoming too maudlin. The characters are easy to identify with and their situations and manner of dealing with their losses make sense and are never over the top. And the bird facts are fascinating and a lyrical addition to this beautiful novel. I love this particular quote:
"How is a story like a bird? It keeps us aloft. It flies. It goes from one place and lands at another, seemingly at random. But its movements are carefully choreographed, and if you look closely, you'll know exactly where it will next perch."
I truly enjoyed Kessler's style of writing and look forward to reading other books he has written.
Rating: 4.5
Posted by Framed at 11:11 PM

John Mutford said...
Though I haven't read it, Edward Riche's Rare Birds, set in Newfoundland, also intertwines bird trivia into the story. Sounds good.
12/26/2007 7:13 AM
Literary Feline said...
I read another blogger review of this book not too long ago. It does sound like a worthwhile read. Thank you for the great review!
12/26/2007 10:12 AM
Booklogged said...
Very nice review. I liked this book, too.
12/30/2007 7:04 PM
Crafty Green Poet said...
this sounds like a book I need to read, I love reading about birds, especially when they're woven well into a story

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?