The Bird House
Publisher: Washington Square PressPurchase on AmazonISBN-13: 978-1439160930
In THE BIRD HOUSE, seventy-year-old Ann Biddle feels as spry as she did forty years ago. But her mind is another matter. She knows she's becoming more and more forgetful, and rails against the indignities of old age. She's also a woman who is troubled by her past. She's had her share of heartache: she lost her mother to breast cancer and early dementia, and she, herself, was diagnosed and she had been estranged from her late, wayward father since she was a teenager. At the center of it all is an unspeakable tragedy that will forever haunt her.
Ann had never been particularly close to her only son's daughter, but at the age of eight, young Ellie is turning into a person Ann enjoys. She speaks her mind without whining, she's straightforward, and she isn't easily hurt. Just like Ann herself. So when Ellie tells her she needs to help work on a school project she jumps at the chance to spend more time with her granddaughter.
Never mind the fact hat her daughter-in-law, Tinsley, constantly worries about Ann's failing eyesight, her increasing forgetfulness, and her penchant for feeding Ellie illicit sugar-filled treats.
A problem arises when Ann learns that the project involves researching her family's history-- something that she would prefer to keep hidden. She's certainly not going to dredge up old family secrets of death, disease, estrangement, and infidelity. Instead, she's determined to help Ellie build a more romantic and colorful family history; one that will garner her an "A".
But as Ann and Ellie spend more and more time together, Ann finds herself remembering things she doesn't want to remember, yet can't seem to let go. Ellie is unknowingly bringing them to the surface with her innocent questions and child-like discovery, new insight into an old secret is revealed. Ellie, in turn, begins sharing her own secrets and doubts about her mother and father. Together, they find the healing answers they need.
A richly textured story that delves deeply into the power of memory and the strength of family, THE BIRD HOUSE solidifies Kelly Simmon's place in the upper echelons of women's fiction.
Kelly Simmons is a former journalist and advertising creative director specializing in marketing to women. She lives with her family outside Philadelphia. Please visit her website at ByKellySimmons.com.
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