Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bird Sisters, Enchanting...

Rebecca Rasmussen began her campaign to sell her book, The Bird Sisters, early and often. I ran into her on She Writes, and was enchanted enough to put her book on pre-order for several months ahead last fall. I received it when it released in April and only just now had the time to read it.

Once I found the author's rhythm, I was enchanted by her story-telling technique. Making liberal use of flashbacks, one day in the life of these mid-seventies spinster sisters never painted a more poignant tale.

Milly and Twiss grew up essentially on their own and ended up that way out of a devotion that takes my breath away. Rasmussen shows what famial love and hatred looks like when allowed to fully bloom. The story that recounts the summer the girls' lives changed forever is ignited by a comment from a visitor who responded to Milly's accidental declaration to her young daughter that Santa Claus is a myth. The harsh return comment sends both women back to the fateful summer that is the reason they are spinsters and alone in the present.

The Bird Sisters is not pop fiction, and uses beautiful language and technique to tell a story lacquered over frail color. Once revealed to the open air, the magic of a wanna-be spoiled man and his bitter wife unable to get past themselves to parent their teenage daughters and neice, bubbles and falls away fleck by fleck until only the plain surface is revealed.

No comments: