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The Bird Sisters

The Bird Sisters Cover

ISBN13: 9780307717962
ISBN10: 0307717968
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds' heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can't, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who've brought them. These spinster sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.

 

But back in the summer of 1947, Milly and Twiss knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn't change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn't exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly's eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.

 

Rebecca Rasmussen's masterfully written debut novel is full of hope and beauty, heartbreak and sacrifice, love and the power of sisterhood, and offers wonderful surprises at every turn.

Review:

"Rasmussen's debut novel begins like a typical coming-of-age story, but reveals itself to be a singular portrayal of familial sacrifice and loss. As elderly women, sisters Twiss and Milly live alone in the house where they grew up in Spring Green, Wis. They spend their days tending to injured birds and roaming their land, lost in memories. For Milly, there is the constant reminder of what could have been. Twiss spent her childhood happily trailing behind their golf-pro father, but Milly dreamed about a family and children that never happened. There was hope for a young Milly, until an accident strips their father of his golfing abilities and sets in motion a series of events that rips apart the already unstable family. Dad retreats to the barn, and mom bemoans her choice to marry for love, leaving behind her wealthy family; a cousin who was thought to be a friend becomes an unexpected rival; and the sisters are left with only each other. As young women, and as old ones, they learn that their relationship is rewarding, but not without consequence. Achingly authentic and almost completely character driven, the story of the sisters depicts the endlessly binding ties of family. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

About the Author

REBECCA RASMUSSEN teaches creative writing and literature at Fontbonne University. Her stories have appeared in Triquarterly magazine and the Mid-American Review. She was a finalist in both Narrative magazine’s 30 Below Contest for writers under the age of thirty and in Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest. She lives with her husband and daughter in St. Louis.  This is her first novel.

 

Visit her at TheBirdSisters.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Denise Morland, May 1, 2011 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
The Bird Sisters tells the sad, sweet story of Milly and Twiss, sisters born to parents who long for everything they can't have. Their father is a golf pro, a golden boy always looking for the admiration and respect that comes with his talent for golf, until he suddenly loses that talent and has to remake himself. Their mother longs for glamour and style as spends her days trying to make ends meet in a small, backwater town. Milly works to comfort and hold her family together with elaborate and delicious baking projects and Twiss runs wild in the fields around their home, tormenting the snapping turtles. Then one hot and humid summer everything comes to a head with the visit of a sickly but scheming cousin.

This debut novel is mostly about the relationship between the sisters, how they know, love and forgive each other everything. Their differences, one longing for domesticity and comfort while the other wants wildness and adventure lead them both to give up everything in the protection of the other. I really enjoyed the close examination of this bond and the juxtaposition of their relationships with their cousin and parents. The story focuses on their early years as remembered by them in old age. I wish there had been more of their middle years, the time when they are actually rescuing birds together. Still, it is beautifully written in an old-fashioned, quiet way and perfumed with a scent of melancholy and sadness.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307717962
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Crown
Author:
Rasmussen, Rebecca
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Single women
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20110412
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 in 1.0375 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Bird Sisters
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Crown Publishing Group (NY) - English 9780307717962 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Rasmussen's debut novel begins like a typical coming-of-age story, but reveals itself to be a singular portrayal of familial sacrifice and loss. As elderly women, sisters Twiss and Milly live alone in the house where they grew up in Spring Green, Wis. They spend their days tending to injured birds and roaming their land, lost in memories. For Milly, there is the constant reminder of what could have been. Twiss spent her childhood happily trailing behind their golf-pro father, but Milly dreamed about a family and children that never happened. There was hope for a young Milly, until an accident strips their father of his golfing abilities and sets in motion a series of events that rips apart the already unstable family. Dad retreats to the barn, and mom bemoans her choice to marry for love, leaving behind her wealthy family; a cousin who was thought to be a friend becomes an unexpected rival; and the sisters are left with only each other. As young women, and as old ones, they learn that their relationship is rewarding, but not without consequence. Achingly authentic and almost completely character driven, the story of the sisters depicts the endlessly binding ties of family. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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