Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jamie's Review Of The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen

The Bird Sisters: A NovelBook/Author: The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
Publisher/Year: Crown Publishing April 2011
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Spinster sisters, Milly and Twiss,  are known as "the bird sisters" and their home serves as a place where people bring injured birds to be nursed back to health. The "bird sisters" weren't always destined towards a path of seclusion and spinsterhood...until one summer that alters the direction of their lives.

The story gracefully moves between the present and haunting memories from their childhood. The bulk of the memories take place in the span of the summer of 1947 when Milly and Twiss are teenagers and becomes the turning point to paving the path that leads to where they are now as spinsters. Immediately I was invested in the lives of Milly and Twiss and had such a desire to know how they ended up so alone when it seemed like they had a lot going for them. I think that was the most heart-wrenching part-- knowing how they ended up and needing to find out why. The details of the events that summer were revealed ever so carefully and evenhandedly that it kept you reeling until you are given the answers to what had happened. And let me tell you-- it was shocking, heartbreaking and beautiful -- simultaneously. I had goosebumps as we finally learned what happened in the most pivotal moment that summer.

Milly and Twiss are two of the most quirky and unforgettable characters that I've encountered in a while. They were developed so finely and with great precision and I just fell completely in love with them. I found a lot of the other characters to be interesting as well. Cousin Bett was that character that you just wanted to slap silly yet I kept wondering what her story was. The characters personalities were so perfectly melded together with the plot that I just kept thinking of how perfect of a book this was. Milly and Tilly are definitely the shining stars but what I loved is that they aren't always brave, or always right or strong...they were so real and were perfect in their own ways.

For the most part I can honestly say this book was flawless for me, but I must confess, there were a few parts where it took me a little bit to figure out if we were back in the past or in the present although I was able to deduce after a page or so. The parts in the present, in the heads of the older Milly and Twiss, were a little slower moving for me but it definitely balanced out the story well.

My Final Thought:
I would recommend this to anybody looking for the perfect combination of unforgettable characters, a carefully crafted and revealed plot with a layer of surprises and undeniably beautiful prose that you find yourself savoring with each page. Seriously, this book charmed the socks off of me, broke my heart and mentally shelving this book under "books that remind me why I love the written word." It wasn't overwrought in emotion or drama nor was it the type of book that was trying too hard to BE something profound. It felt real and was definitely a breath of fresh air for me.


  1. I'm really anxious to read this book! I've heard so many good things.

  2. Beautiful review. I loved this book!

  3. This is a beautiful review! I don't even know if I'd read the book but you certainly made me want to try.

  4. I loved this book and your review. I'm so glad that you loved the book as well. I also had some trouble with the past/present changes, but like you said, that was the only downside.

  5. Um, I want unforgettable characters, a carefully crafted plot, and beautiful prose, yes, please! Thanks for the great write-up girl, putting this one on the teetering tower of TBRs

  6. HOLY CRAP! I want to read The Bird Sisters super bad now because it sounds exactly like one of my favorite types of books and omg stop reviewing so well. WANT!

  7. I've read nothing but good reviews of this one. Thanks!

  8. I recently finished The Bird Sisters, too, and while I didn't love it quite as much as you did, I do agree that it was well written. You write beautifully of what I loved most about this book here: "It wasn't overwrought in emotion or drama nor was it the type of book that was trying too hard to BE something profound." Well said!

  9. I know I've said this to you before, but I am SO glad you enjoyed this, Jamie. The cover is so freaking gorgeous and it sounds really good, and your review has convinced me to give it a shot, even though it's not YA.

  10. You know we gushed about this book. I really loved it and it makes me so happy that you loved it too!

    The time changes kind of threw me as well, but like you mentioned it wasn't a big deal and didn't take away from the book at all.


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