Reviewed by Claudia R.
“It wasn’t more complicated or mysterious than I have recalled. My entry didn’t offer much more detail than my memory, but there was enough. Enough that Theo wanted to erase it, to cut it out of my heart, to keep me from remembering what I remembered.” – The Bird House
Forty years ago, Ann’s daughter died, tragically, at the age of three. Now, her surviving son’s daughter, 8-year-old Ellie, is enlisting her help with a family history class project and Ann is forced back in to the darkness of her past. Determined to forge a bond, previously non-existant, with her precious granddaughter, Ann accepts the role of story-teller, despite, or in-spite, of her worsening Alzheimer’s, and together with Ellie and an attic full of memories, the two embark on a journey that will open old wounds, reveal shocking secrets and create a disturbance of epic proportions for everyone involved.
As the matriarch, Ann understands the importance of imparting the family legacy accurately, including tales of death, infidelity, despair, and family tragedy, but at what cost, will their revelations demand? When Ellie and Ann inadvertently discover Tinsley, her daughter-in-law, in the midst of a torrid affair, the past and future seem to be more parallel than anyone could have known, and whether she likes it or not, Ann’s hand is forced to show Ellie all the cards.
Along with the help of her best friend Betsy and past love, Peter, Ann manages to discover a few hidden truths of her own, secrets altered, covered and even created by a mind mottled by disease, that will, in the end, offer Ann the closure and healing she’s never admitted to needing.
Kelly Simmons writes with eloquence, passion and an intimacy that allows the reader to truly feel the story from the main character’s perspective. Ann’s pain, confusion and desire to scratch past the surface and find answers, becomes as personal a battle for the reader, as for Ann. Woven between two timelines, present and past, Kelly manages to seamlessly blend the two and create a poignant, breathtaking story of loss, disillusion, tenacity and brutal honesty that is scary-sweet, rough-tender exactly when and where it needs to be.
Every detail, every situation is written so perfectly, and with such eloquence, rendering The Bird House a definite must read, for anyone who understands, all to well, the danger of harboring one too many skeletons in the proverbial closet.
Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & co-leader of the Cape Cod Community Angels, a non-profit organization for young girls involved in volunteering in their Community.
I have 1 signed copy of The Bird House to give away, courtesy of Kelly Simmons!
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Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Washington Square Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.