Monday, February 7, 2011

The Bird House by Kelly Simmons

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:

From the critically acclaimed author of Standing Still comes a psychologically charged novel about the power and failure of family.
Review:

Looking for a beautifully written and spellbinding novel? Well, look no further because Kelly Simmon's The Bird House is the novel for you. Startling, eloquent, and immersing, I was hooked from the first page until the very last, and even then I was close to begging for more, more, and more of these richly developed characters and the world they live in.

The Bird House tells the story of Ann Biddle, a woman whose dealt with more loss, death, and pain than any good person should, and now after more than seventy years of life, she's beginning to deal with the starting stages of Alzheimer's. Though, when given the chance to create a strong bond and relationship with her precious granddaughter Ellie over Ellie's school project, Ann jumps at the chance. Little do they know that this school project over family histories will lead to not only secrets spilling out from every door and pathway possible, but to Ann's looking over of her life: the choices she made and what they meant for her and her family. Will Ann be able to handle it? And what happens when she and Ellie learns more than they should? Only time will tell in this richly told story intertwining past and present times.

Not only because of Ann's early stages of memory loss but the fact that this story is told strictly in her diary entries over the years, Anne is in all ways an unreliable narrator but in the best way possible. For one, it lead to this story to have a compelling and unique voice, one that constantly lead me flipping the pages eager to find out more about Ann's life, such as what happened to her daughter? Or, better yet, what happened between her and her high school sweetheart, as well as much, much more. Plus I was constantly questioning whether or not she was always telling the truth or merrily exaggerating some aspects.

More importantly, I loved her granddaughter Ellie. Ellie was a sweetheart. Cautious, honest, and sweet, I could clearly see what Ann loved her so much. Though, what I liked most about both characters was the bond they began to form over the course of the novel, because not only did it play an important part in making this The Bird House an amazing book, but it was admirable and relatable to any girl or boy whose been close to a grandparent, in my opinion.

I also really enjoyed the way Kelly Simmons told this story in diary entries of past and current times, because not only did she effortless tie everything together in a picture perfect way that never left me feeling like I wasn't getting a clear image, but she did so in a way that it made The Bird House compelling and full of dirty little secrets I couldn't wait to find out more about.

Lastly, as I'm sure you can already guess, I loved Simmons' writing. It's beautiful, poignant, and eloquent and it made this novel flow in a perfect pace. Also, she did such a suburb job of getting the voices of her many characters and setting down in a way that I could easily picture everything and feel like I was right there.

In all, The Bird House is most ways a nearly perfect novel, in my opinion. I simply can't wait to read more by Simmons, as I'm sure she has many, many more fabulous novels and ideas up her shelves.

Oh, and while this novel is labeled adult fiction, I don't see any reason why older teens wouldn't enjoy it.

Grade: A+

The Bird House is now out! You can read an excerpt here.

Source: Publicist at Simon & Schuster. Thanks Cristina!

5 comments:

  1. I don't read many adult books these days, but this one sounds excellent. I'm going to add it to my wishlist.

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  2. I don't usually read adult books, but this one sounds really good! I like the premise, and when the writing is strong, it encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and read other genres :)

    Great review!

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  3. This looks so good! Normally I'm not into adult books, but this one looks too good to miss.
    Great review!

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  4. So glad you liked this one because you've totally got me wanting to read it now!

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  5. I loved this one too, just as much as Simmons's first novel, Standing Still. Great review.

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