Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova

Twenty-something Iain Reid was underemployed, broke and going nowhere fast, despite a college education under his belt. With few prospects, Iain decided to take a summer position as a weekly book reviewer on CBC Radio in Ottawa, Canada. The job also meant moving back in with his parents on their rural farm.

Summer quickly turned into fall, and before he knew it, Iain was welcoming spring – still on his parents’ farm. While his summer gig did turn into a temporary stint as an associate producer, that opportunity fizzled out as well. With no plans and nowhere to go, Iain passed the time with attempts at writing, helping out on the farm and learning to put up with his parents’ idiosyncrasies all over again.

I looked forward to reading One Bird’s Choice since I thought I’d be able to sympathize with Iain’s situation. I spent some time after college looking for my first job and trying to find something I enjoyed, so I know how difficult that in-between time can be.

My high expectations for One Bird’s Choice fell short and I had a hard time finishing the book. Time and time again, I asked myself, “What is the point here?” And that’s just it – there didn’t seem to be one. Much of what Iain did revolved around sleeping in late, watching TV, eating and observing the farm animals; somehow this was deemed significant enough to be written about. Even then, his writing was given very little attention throughout the memoir. I think that Iain’s intent was to be humorous about his situation, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

Rating: 2/5

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Review copy was provided free of any obligation by House of Anansi Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.