Winter Birds

Jamie Langston Turner, Author . Bethany House $12.99 (399p) ISBN 978-0-7642-0015-1

With this fictional octogenarian's rich reflection on her disappointing life, Christy Award–winner Turner pens her best novel in years. Bitterness over her late husband and his secret addiction to pornography has colored Sophia Hess's view of everything she's trusted and held dear. Dangling the promise of leaving her money to whichever distant relative cares for her, "Aunt Sophie" takes up residence in the spare room belonging to her loquacious, pontificating nephew, Patrick, and his diffident wife, Rachel, in Greenville, Miss. They collect a ragtag group of acquaintances, including an ex-con and a severely disabled four-year-old who flit in and out of the story. Sophie, a former English teacher, passes her days mostly by reading obituaries, watching television and learning about the birds outside her window. Turner brilliantly weaves together the threads of Shakespeare's plays, sitcoms, birds and their habits, and the deaths of celebrities gleaned from Time magazine's obituary section as she unfolds the story. As she did in Some Wildflower in My Heart , Turner shows how even the most awkward and imperfect love, care and attention can yield meaningful results. Readers may find the present tense narration mechanical at times, and the story begins slowly, but this helps form an impression of the protagonist and her dull marking of days. Genuine humor and well-crafted characters make this a memorable and inspiring novel. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/26/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4412-6124-3
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