“The Gravity of Birds” by Tracy Guzeman – 8
The story got up on its feet and moving by Page 18 – a good sign. And what a joy to be once again reading competently crafted, workmanlike prose that efficiently conveys images to the reader’s mind and is not ‘inventive’ or ‘experimental’ or ‘flowery’ or laced with untranslated foreign language.
The author got me in touch with all the central characters, every one, which is unusual. The story kept moving with the pace actually picking up as the central characters converged and the twists were revealed. I would like to know more about their lives later; Stephen in particular. Did Alice and Phinneaus’ relationship deepen? – one has to assume it did. And did the paintings get sold? There is so much we don’t know. One little doubt; I find it hard to imagine a painting could convey such accuracy with respect to character – puts me in mind of Sister Wendy – as it’s always a matter of interpretation.
When judging a book there are two things I always keep in mind; do I look forward to getting back to the book and would I recommend this it to my friends? Yes, and yes in this case.
I always start with a 9 and wait for the disappointments to pile in. In this one there were no big disappoints but my 9s are for something exceptional; a 7 seems mean so I’m going with an 8. And I will seek out more of Tracy Guzeman’s work.
Page 239 – Very well written scene when Finch and Jameson arrive at Alice’s house
Page 263 – Description of Agnete – different through Finch’ eyes
Page 266 – The triptych panel above the fireplace – I got goose bumps