The Gravity of Birds – Tracy Guzeman
Publisher: HarperCollins (UK), Simon & Schuster (US)
Release Date: 06 August 2013
Source: Sent over by HarperCollins
Synopsis: How do you find someone who wants to be lost?
Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative—and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family’s summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.
Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters—a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past.
In The Gravity of Birds histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.
I didn’t dislike The Gravity of Birds, let me just start off by saying that. Guzeman’s writing was lyrical and quite beautiful and painted a gorgeous picture… but it really wasn’t my thing. I was intrigued by the blurb on the back and indeed the first 50 or so pages had me gripped but somehow after that I wasn’t as into it. There was nothing wrong with the writing itself or the characters–in fact, I loved Jameson and Saisee! I felt Alice’s pain in dealing with RA as well as her gut wrenching grief.
I did find the plot to be like an episode of Heir Hunters and slightly unbelievable. And I wasn’t on board with the final twist at the end–I think the book would have had more believability if it weren’t for that. Others, I imagine, will love the plot twist… I think it might be a bit like Marmite!
Again, this wasn’t a bad book–it’s had loads of amazing reviews from a variety of authors and websites. Guzeman’s novel was very well written and heartbreakingly beautiful in description at times, but it just wasn’t for me.
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