Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Birds in the Air

Cool weather has arrived.  I actually had to dig out my jeans which I have not worn since last February.  My oldest dog, Wolfie (the Siberian Husky) is very happy with the weather change (she actually wants to play--she is almost twelve).  Can you tell I like cool weather?  I, definitely, live in the wrong state!

Birds in the Air by Frances O’Roark Dowell is set in Sweet Anne’s Gap, North Carolina.  Emma Byrd and her family have just moved to town for her husband’s new job.  Emma’s husband, Owen as well as their two kids, Sarah and Ben are settling in, but Emma is feeling at loose ends.  Thanks to her husband’s raise, she no longer has to work.  Emma thought this would be her chance to write which is what she has always wanted to do.  But Emma has yet to make any friends.  When Lettie, a neighbor, visits, the two of them explore some trunks left behind in the attic.  Inside one of them, they find an old quilt.  Emma would like to know more about it.  Lettie refers Emma to Ruth at The Sewing Room (the local quilting shop).  After visiting Ruth, Emma ends up learning to quilt.  To gather more information on the quilt, Ruth suggests Emma attend a guild meeting.  Emma makes a new friend in Mavis Abercrombie.  Emma is learning to quilt and making friends.  Emma takes on the task of helping Barbara (the Episcopalian minister) organize a quilt show for the town’s upcoming centennial celebration.  After Barbara breaks her ankle, Emma ends up taking on the whole job.  Christine McCrae, though, is not happy with Emma and goes out of her way to make things difficult for her (and her daughter, Sarah).  Join Emma as she learns to navigate small town life and learns to quilt in Birds in the Air.

Birds in the Air sounded good, but I thought the book was lacking.  The novel is basically about Emma settling into life in a small town.  Emma is an introvert (like me) who has trouble talking with people and making friends.  She constantly overthinks things, worries, and fantasizes (goes on and on for pages).  I eventually started skipping over these sections.  The writing was satisfactory, but the pace is a little slow.  There were some interesting characters (like Mavis), but I did not think that all of them had to be so quirky.  The writer just did not pull it off.  The town had the typical characters:  the gossip, the mean lady, the boisterous person, the old guys who sit around, etc.  It was like the author had a checklist of characters needed for a small town and went down the list checking off each one as she added them into the story.  I give Birds in the Air 3 out of 5 stars.  I did like reading about the quilting and the old quilt sounded beautiful.  With a little work (rewriting and editing) this would be the first book of a great series (can you imagine a mystery series about old quilts).  

Thank you for visiting.  I just started reading The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston.   My cold is worse so I am off to rest. I hope you will return tomorrow to check out my latest review.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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