Saturday, March 12, 2011

Before Women Had Wings

I don't normally write book reviews, but I had to talk about this book I just read!  I'm blogging it because I am at work and it's 3:30am & no one else is awake!

Before women had Wings

First, I want to start with the title.  Isn't it amazing?  Doesn't it create a picture in your head of something beautiful?  It does for me.  I picture a world where we women have all different kids of wings & we can take flight and soar to the tree tops and the clouds & be free! 
It is about the Jackson family, mainly about 8year old Avocet, who everyone calls "Bird".  She struggles throughout the book to overcome the horrible life her parents have set before her.  Bird and her sister, Phoebe endure countless beatings, long nights listening to their drunk parents fight, and knowing that everything they have belongs to someone else.  Their father, Billy, pays a man to beat their mother, then commits suicide.  Things only get worse from there.  Phoebe starts spending less and less time at home leaving Bird to endure the brunt of their mother's drunken anger.  Birds only friend in Miss Zora, an interesting black woman that her mother wants nothing to do with.  In the end Miss Zora is the girls saving grace.

There were so many touching parts of this story.  There was also several moments that took my breath away & left me thinking "Oh my goodness, how could anyone do that to their own child?".  A few heartbreaking times I even wondered if my own children felt the way that she described feeling unloved & unwanted. 

I originally just picked this up from the thrift store because it was free & would be a fast read.  It was the book I kept lying around to read a few pages here & there when there was nothing else around.  I was set to not like it and not be very interested in it & to pass it on when I was done. Boy, was I wrong! It has earned a permanent place on my shelf (and anyone that knows me KNOWS that bookshelf space is prime real estate!). I even did the unthinkable and marked some of my favorite passages.

Fowler writes just the way I love! Very poetic.  A lot of imagery.  Not too much useless description, every beautiful detail was necessary to convey how they lived, and how they learned to move on.

The very end brought tears to my eyes & made me love the book even more

"Slowly, I let go of Mama, and as I did, I felt the invisible cord rip - the cord that ties together children and parents."  It was necessary for Bird to let go of her abusive mother so that everyone could move on, but is a sad sad realization to come to.  I still haven't done it.