Friday, July 8, 2022

Summer Reading 2022: Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen


I'm not overstating when I say knowing Sarah Addison Allen has a new book out this year brings me immense joy. I've read all of her books, and still to this day recommend Garden Spells to people.

I was being patient knowing I'd probably have to wait until Other Birds was published before I bought a copy and enjoyed it. However, a friend of mine was able to get me an ARC from Sarah Addison Allen herself (a signed one, at that!) when she made an appearance at the American Library Association Conference in June. My friend stood in line and even got there early and patiently waited. Can't thank him enough! 

You bet I set aside everything else I'm reading and dove into Other Birds and breathed a sigh of relief stepping back into SAA's magical words.

Other Birds takes place on Mallow Island, off the coast of South Carolina. Now a tourist destination, Mallow Island has a special building tucked away down an alley: the Dellawisp. Named after little blue birds that inhabit the trees around the building, it is home to some quirky residents, and the new home to Zoey. Zoey has come to the Dellawisp to live in the apartment left by her mother. She's finally left her toxic home in Oklahoma where her father and stepmother have made it clear she's not wanted. Only eighteen, Zoey is on her own, ready to start college, and trying to find a connection to her deceased mother. 

The Dellawisp is unusual, to be sure. There's magic in the air-the birds, a few ghosts, and the residents all combine to create an atmosphere of secrets, loss, love, and chances to create happiness. If only Zoey and Lucy, Charlotte, Frasier, and Mac can embrace the unknown and find the beginnings to their stories, while others (ghosts!) find the end of their stories. Each character has a chance to tell their story which I loved. There wasn't a character I didn't like, or feel sympathy for as they revealed their stories. The friendship that formed between Charlotte, Zoey, and Mac was delightful to see unfold. 

This was a much anticipated book for me, and I wasn't disappointed at all. I happily sunk into a world only SAA can create. I turned the last page with a big sigh of contentment, and a little bit of sadness that I'd finished. 

Rating: 6/6 for sheer enjoyment at reading SAA's newest novel. I adore her tales of every day people with every day problems, sprinkled in with a bit of magic. A reminder that there is still wonder in the small things; the world is a magical place if we take the time to look for it--it's right there in front of us! 

Available August 30th in the United States in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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