Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 30, 2022
Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 10/10
From the acclaimed author of Garden Spells comes an enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.
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 is 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 is 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.
Charming, poignant, and beautifully written!
Other Birds is an emotionally-charged, moving tale that takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including the kind, independent Zoey Hennessey, as their worlds are irrevocably changed when the sudden death of a long-term resident has them finally sharing their time, secrets, and heartbreaking pasts.
The prose is lyrical and expressive. The characters are complex, scarred, and conflicted. And the plot is a compelling, sobering tale of life, loss, family, friendship, grief, guilt, denial, secrets, abuse, neglect, self-preservation, loneliness, and the importance of learning to love and be loved.
Overall, Other Birds made me think, made me cry, and resonated with me long after the final page. It’s an immersive, impactful, hopeful tale by Allen that combines exceptional character development with the magic of the supernatural to weave a heart-tugging, bittersweet story steeped in an abundance of loneliness, optimism, tenderness, and pain.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.