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Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Review: The Tender Birds by Carole Giangrande

Book Details:

Book Title The Tender Birds by Carole Giangrande
Category Adult Fiction (18 +),  305 pages
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher Inanna Publications
Release date:  October 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M
(References to mature themes. The f-word and s**t are used about six times each. There are two non-explicit sex scenes (one is a reverie) and there is no physical violence.)

Book Description:

Matthew Reilly is a busy academic, a lonely priest haunted by secrets. Young Alison is the shy and devoted keeper of Daisy, a falcon which suffered an accident and can no longer fly. The three of them meet in a Boston parish, but Matt has forgotten a momentary but disturbing meetup with Alison, homeless eight years earlier in Toronto. Close to exhaustion, he's forced to reflect on what's become of his life, including the loss of a son that no one knew he'd fathered. Alison and Matt had a fateful encounter during her homeless period, but Matt doesn't connect that frail teenager with the healthy young woman she'd become. It's left to Alison to uncover Matt's past and for Matt to come to terms with it.

Buy the Book: ~ ~ Chapters Indigo

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This is a hauntingly beautiful story. 

At first, the title, "Tenderbirds" struck my curiosity of what this book was all about. It was not just about birds but it was about the great birds of prey and how they became sources of comfort, strength and support for the main characters in  the story, Fr. Matt and Alison. With the unfolding of the story also came the revelations of their pasts from Toronto to Boston.  The author, Carole Giangrande has certainly succeeded in tugging at the emotions of her readers. Fr.. Matt and Allison's experiences have moved me so much. Although different, their similarities in having loved, lost and confused left them both feeling a sense of guilt and loneliness.

Their situations convey a great deal about reality which sometimes we'd rather not talk about or afraid to talk about openly. I couldn't help turning the pages to discover more of their secrets and the people involved in their lives. 

This story is filled with metaphors too. Daisy, the Peregrine Falcon; Armande and Josephine the Hawks - Tender birds likened to God. "Loving God, Tender bird, brooding on the world, protect us" - a favorite prayer by Alison's father. Yet, on a spiritual aspect, these great birds, like God shelters us from the 'terrible strangeness of this world and 'offers us safety' under his great wings. Moreover, like the Peregrine Falcon, Alison's and Fr. Matt's lives were saved and restored. 

A story about faith, forgiveness and restoration, I would recommend it to anyone in search of life's beauty and meaning. It is a good source for reflection.

About the Author:

Carole Giangrande is the award-winning author of ten books, including the novella A Gardener on the Moon (winner of the 2010 Ken Klonsky Award) and the novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2018 Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction). The Tender Birds is her fourth novel. She’s worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster), and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in literary journals and in Canada’s major newspapers. In her spare time, she loves exploring nature with her partner Brian, photographing birds and studying French.

Connect with the author:    Website   Twitter ~  Facebook


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  1. Wow! Thank you for the fabulous recommendation. This sounds like an insightful read that needs to be checked out.

  2. Sorry to be so late, but thank you so much for your review of my novel, The Tender Birds.

  3. It was my pleasure. I enjoyed reading the book😊

  4. Birds are like person. They need healthy wings to fly and enjoy nature. I feel bad for the birds at work. I wish that they are free and not inside the cages but oh well, that is life.

    An extra ordinary book to read, the author will capture your mind and soul. Priest is only human and they commit sin too. Prayers are so powerful and will heal your sorrow. You just have faith in God and believe in yourself that everything will be alright.


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