Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book review: The birdman's daughter by Cindi Myers

The Birdman’s Daughter - Cindi Myers

After champion bird-watcher Martin Engel suffers a debilitating stroke, his daughter Karen rushes back to the family home in Texas to take care of him, despite the fact that Martin has never shared a close relationship with either her brother or herself.
Leaving behind her husband Tom, her sons Matt and Casey, and the family landscaping business in Denver, Karen returns after a sixteen-year absence to help her father with his rehabilitation. But she also hopes to find something that she feels has been missing from her life- a connection with her father, who was often absent during her childhood while in pursuit of his passion for bird-watching.
During her stay in Texas, Karen reconnects with old friends, deals with her unreliable brother and thinks of what life could have been had she not married and moved away at the age of eighteen. Karen also discovers why her father is so withdrawn amongst his flesh and blood but so extroverted in the birding community, and learns to appreciate the tranquillity and assurance that come from watching and identifying birds.

What I gained from reading this book:
This book highlights the importance of family and unconditional love. Even while she laments that he missed some of the most important moments in her life, including the births of her sons, because he was bird watching abroad, Karen still travels across the country to help Martin. Although Karen has never been close to her father, she feels obligated to help him recover from his stroke, and this portrayal of familial love resonates strongly throughout the novel. Myers also demonstrates throughout the novel that people can show their love for others in different and sometimes unconventional ways, and this is most obvious in the relationship between Martin and his son Del.

If you live with somebody who seems to care about their hobby more than they seem to care for you, then you will probably relate to this book and the hardships that Karen faces in her pursuit for a connection with her father.

Myers mentions birds in this book- a lot. So if you are not a fan of feathered creatures, and are not particularly interested in one man’s relationship with birds or his fascination for birding, then this book may not be the best choice for you.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Family/ Relationships

Recommended for: People whose hobbies can sometimes take over their lives.

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