FICTION

Parakeet

Farrar. Jun. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780374229450. $26. F
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The week before she is to be married, the Bride is visited by her dead grandmother in the form of a parakeet. During their conversation, the bird warns that the Bride should call off the wedding and go find her estranged brother instead, emphasizing the importance of this message by ruining the Bride’s wedding dress. This startling encounter leads the Bride not only to begin searching for her brother but also to reconsider her upcoming marriage and ponder life’s big questions. While searching for a replacement wedding dress, she encounters a former lover, making her think about past partnership choices. One morning, she wakes up in her mother’s body and must literally “walk in her shoes,” resulting in a better understanding of what drives her mother. When she locates and confronts her brother, her entire outlook changes.
VERDICT O. Henry and Pushcart winner Bertino (2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas) skillfully weaves together reality and flights of fancy as she tackles a wide variety of issues women face and the different ways to navigate these issues. An amusing yet instructive work about how personal perspective can change everything; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 12/2/19.]

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