Book Review: The Bird Sisters – Rebecca Rasmussen

Title: The Bird Sisters
Author: Rebecca Rasmussen
ISBN: 9780307717962
Pages: 304
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Author
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Milly and Twiss are known as the bird sisters – they spend their days tending to injured birds that the local townspeople bring to their house.  Old maids, neither chose to marry and so they live out their days in solitude, surrounded by the memories their old house brings back.  Lost in the past, the two women can’t help but remember that fateful summer all those years ago when their cousin Bett came to visit for the summer, and Milly thought she might want to marry Asa, and everything changed.

Review:

The Bird Sisters is a coming of age story about Milly, Twiss, and Bett – three girls, about to become women, who find themselves overwhelmed by the situations life thrusts in front of them.  From the beginning, the reader knows Milly will not marry Asa; after all, she is a spinster who never chose to marry.  But why is that the case?  What happened to sweet Milly, why did she give up her dream and the boy she loved?  Why didn’t Tilly make it happen?  These questions will keep the reader interested in The Bird Sisters from beginning to end.

Above all, The Bird Sisters is a character driven novel.  Rasmussen writes her characters with such care and detail that they will seem like real people to the reader.  Milly was my personal favorite.  While Tilly was the troublemaker who seemed to want to cause problems in order to attract attention to herself, it was Milly that was always there to listen or to help when needed.  She was the responsible one, the strong one.  I knew from the beginning that Milly would experience a great hurt, and as the book progressed, I ached for her.  She seemed like a friend who was relating the story of a heartbreak, and I wanted to reach through the book and tell her everything was going to be okay.

The setting of The Bird Sisters was remarkable; not for its unique qualities, but for the vividness with which Rasmussen describes it.  Spring Green, Wisconsin comes alive in this book.  The amazing descriptions and careful details that Rasmussen writes are wonderful to experience.  It’s not surprising that Rasmussen grew up (at least partly) in Spring Green – she describes the town with such love and honesty, it’s clear that part of her heart is there.

The Bird Sisters was an enjoyable debut with impressively drawn characters that I really sympathized with.  Milly really spoke to me, and though the tone of the novel is bittersweet, I loved the testament to the relationship between sisters that Rasmussen provides.  This author is one I’m going to watch closely; I look forward to seeing what she does next.

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review, Swapna, and for taking the time to read my book! All my love to you! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the lovely review, Swapna, and for taking the time to read my book! All my love to you! 🙂

  3. I just read another positive review of this one, and coupled with yours, I think that this book sounds like something I would probably like. I also really love the cover of the book as well. Great review, Swapna! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  4. I just read another positive review of this one, and coupled with yours, I think that this book sounds like something I would probably like. I also really love the cover of the book as well. Great review, Swapna! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  5. Yours is the third review I’ve read today and it convinced me to head over and get it for my Kindle. I’ll be reading it soon. Thanks for sharing, Swapna!

  6. Yours is the third review I’ve read today and it convinced me to head over and get it for my Kindle. I’ll be reading it soon. Thanks for sharing, Swapna!

  7. I swear there is a group of you that don’t leave us any choice but to read some of these books you support. Personally, I’m hoping to win Dawn’s giveaway so my whole book club can read it.

  8. I swear there is a group of you that don’t leave us any choice but to read some of these books you support. Personally, I’m hoping to win Dawn’s giveaway so my whole book club can read it.

  9. There are three people ahead of me for this book. I have two sisters, live in Wisconsin, and am a bird nerd. I’m so excited to read this book!

  10. There are three people ahead of me for this book. I have two sisters, live in Wisconsin, and am a bird nerd. I’m so excited to read this book!

  11. Yay — so glad to learn you enjoyed this one! Rebecca is quite possibly one of the nicest people on the planet, which always makes me nervous… I always want so badly to like the books of sweet authors. Sounds like I won’t have to worry about this one! Can’t wait to read it!

  12. Yay — so glad to learn you enjoyed this one! Rebecca is quite possibly one of the nicest people on the planet, which always makes me nervous… I always want so badly to like the books of sweet authors. Sounds like I won’t have to worry about this one! Can’t wait to read it!

  13. I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

  14. I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

  15. Thank you for a beautiful review.

  16. Thank you for a beautiful review.

  17. This is the second review I’ve read for this book and it has me even more interested to find out what happened.

  18. This is the second review I’ve read for this book and it has me even more interested to find out what happened.

  19. I’m happy to see so many loving Rebecca’s book. It really is a beautiful novel and I loved the close relationship between the sisters as well.

  20. I’m happy to see so many loving Rebecca’s book. It really is a beautiful novel and I loved the close relationship between the sisters as well.

  21. I have read a few good reviews of this book – I’m going to have to pick it up.

  22. I have read a few good reviews of this book – I’m going to have to pick it up.

  23. I thought this was a terrific debut novel as well. Nice review.

  24. I thought this was a terrific debut novel as well. Nice review.

  25. This one seems to be all over my twitter feed and google reader lately. I also keep getting it mixed up in my head with The Weird Sisters (also all over the place lately). So maybe I just need to read them both to sort it out.

    Usually that much chatter makes me want to avoid a book but your review made me put this one on my TBR list.

  26. This one seems to be all over my twitter feed and google reader lately. I also keep getting it mixed up in my head with The Weird Sisters (also all over the place lately). So maybe I just need to read them both to sort it out.

    Usually that much chatter makes me want to avoid a book but your review made me put this one on my TBR list.

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