THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS by Tracy Guzeman -- "lush prose" "multiple mysteries – expertly woven into a very literary, character-driven story" ~
Naturally, with the word “birds” in the title, I was drawn to THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS. And with descriptions such as this excerpt, it certainly didn’t disappoint:
“A breeze stirred the branches, and she saw the brilliant yellow head and underparts standing out like petals of a sunflower against the backdrop of leaves; the undertail, a stark white. His beak was long, pointed and black; his shoulders a mossy green, a blend of the citron yellow of his head and the flat slate of his feathers. He had a black dot of an eye, a bead of jet set in a field of sun. Never had there been anything so perfect. When she blinked he disappeared, the only evidence of his presence a gentle sway of the branch. It was a sort of magic, unveiled to her. He had been hers, even if only for a few seconds.”
And yes, this passage is reflective of some of the beautiful symbolism throughout this tale of a complicated sister relationship from childhood into adulthood.
Aside from its lush prose, this debut book wasn’t just about birds. It also was about art, secrets, love and family. And at its heart was a mystery – or perhaps multiple mysteries – expertly woven into a very literary, character-driven story. The characters were so real, so flawed, and so relatable, I couldn’t help but care for them.
While THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS gets off to a gentle start reminiscent of much literary fiction – urging the reader, through beautiful language and characterization, to learn more about the complicated pasts and present situations of the key players – the ending is a full-blown roller coaster ride with its twists and turns. I did see one of the surprises coming, but I certainly didn’t catch them all. So many wonderful secrets and surprises!
If you enjoy literary fiction and enjoy a mystery twist, THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS is for you. I’m looking forward to future work by the talented author — Tracy Guzeman.
(Original version of this piece published at GoodReads on May 18, 2015 by Melissa Crytzer Fry. Reposted here with permission of the post author. )