Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Before Women Had Wings: Beautiful coming-of-age book

Before Women Had Wings (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler

My rating:
4 of 5 stars

Avocet (Bird) Jackson would be described by her childhood peers as "white trash." She and her sister Phoebe are frequent targets of the alcoholic rage and neglect of their parents. When her father dies, her mother goes into a downward spiral of depression, anger, and abuse. Doesn't sound very uplifting, does it?

But Connie May Fowler's talent is that she portrays the story beautifully. She is able to depict the deep humanity of both parents, even in spite of the verbal and physical abuse. Perhaps this is because the book is semi-autobiographical, as Fowler's story is similar? Only someone who has experienced this type of upbringing would be able to describe how you can hate someone and love them at the same time. Fortunately Bird has a few people who are looking out for her and reminding her that she is not trash, in spite of what her mother and peers tell her. I couldn't help but think of those children out there who don't have anyone to remind them of their value.

This book had sat on my shelves for some time before I finally picked it up and read it, and it was worth the effort. Now onto more of Fowler's books!

I just did a search about Fowler's life and happened upon
this book-lovers' blog, which featured a guest post by Fowler. Her description of how books saved her life and encouragement to donate books to kids in need are very inspiring!

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