We always hope to end our reading years on a high note… with lots of hours and pages logged, some new favorites, and hopefully a fantastic title to end the year. I definitely hit all of that in 2022, and I wanted to share my final book of the year, which certainly capped it off perfectly!
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen is the first work in a while by this author of women’s fiction and magical realism. I’ve read all of Allen’s other work and immensely enjoyed each title, so I’ve been looking forward to this one.
And readers, it did NOT disappoint! Here’s the blurb:
Down a narrow alley in the small coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina, lies a stunning cobblestone building comprised of five apartments. It’s called The Dellawisp and it’s named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.
When Zoey Hennessey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp, she meets her quirky, enigmatic neighbors including a girl on the run, a grieving chef whose comfort food does not comfort him, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.
When one of her new neighbors dies under odd circumstances the night Zoey arrives, she’s thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp, which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. She soon discovers that many unfinished stories permeate the place, and the people around her are in as much need of healing from wrongs of the past as she is. To find their way they have to learn how to trust each other, confront their deepest fears, and let go of what haunts them.
Delightful and atmospheric, Other Birds is filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go. Sarah Addison Allen shows us that between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.
In no particular order, and without giving away too much, here are a few of the things I most loved about this story:
- In every SAA book, but particularly this one, the characters are the story. They come with intriguing stories that are slowly revealed throughout the book. I love how the residents of this building grow through the story, each on their own, but also in their relationships with one another.
- There were a few things in Other Birds that I’d consider twists. One of them I wondered about early on, and I was delighted when it was revealed. A couple I didn’t see coming at all. But they were all artfully dropped into the story at the proper points to propel things forward.
- No one does magical realism like Sarah Addison Allen. It’s woven through her books in a way that makes you simply accept the magical as part of the world, and it’s delightful.
At any rate, I will ALWAYS look for more books from Ms. Allen. They’re heartwarming and magical. Other Birds was the PERFECT note on which to end a fantastic year of reading. Put it on your list, and just know that it would make a perfect first book of 2023, too! If you haven’t already guessed, this is an easy five star rating from me!
Grab your copy: AMAZON.COM BOOKSHOP.ORG
And that’s a wrap on 2022! I finished 100 total books, which is the most by far in quite a while. If you want to see all of them, check out my Year in Books on Goodreads!
Happy New Year to all, and happy reading in 2023!
Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for a complimentary digital review copy of this title. All opinions are my own.
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