cover image The Bluebird Cafe

The Bluebird Cafe

Carmel Bird. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $10.95 (180pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1155-0

In Tasmania, successful entrepreneur Nancy Best has recreated the defunct mining town of Copperfield as a glass-domed amusement park whose centerpiece is the Bluebird Cafe. The facsimile also includes a wax museum containing a statue of Lovelygod, the midget daughter born to the twins Bedrock and Carrillo Mean, who caused a sensation when she vanished without a trace 20 years before. Bedrock faithfully keeps vigil for her daughter's return, while Carrillo roams the world in search of her. Also haunted by the mystery is expatriate author Virginia O'Day, who returns to Tasmania from America to write a play, Waiting for Lovelygod. Scattered through the carefree structure of this novel are eccentric characters set against glimpses of the stuffy British colonial life of the '50s and the vanished, magical Aboriginal culture. For good measure, the author has also included an assortment of recipes for oldtime confections. Bird ( Woodpecker Point & Other Stories ) captures a realm full of unexplained wonders, tenacious love, and tragedies for which there is no prevention and only limited recovery. (Apr.)