G1171 Book review of The Tender Birds by Carole GIANGRANDE

Name of Book: The Tender Birds

Author: Carole Giangrande

ISBN: 978-1-77133-665-9

Publisher: Inanna

Type of book: Raptor birds, healing, Catholicism, Canada, America, meditations, character driven, 2001, 2011, healing, mending, broken spirits

Year it was published: 2019


Matthew Reilly is a lonely priest haunted by secrets. Young Alison is the shy and devoted keeper of Daisy, a falcon that suffered an accident and can no longer fly. When they meet in a Boston parish, Matt tells Alison about the day a decade ago when he missed the plane out of Logan Airport that tore into one of the Twin Towers. What he hasn't told her is that among the victims was a son that no one knew he'd fathered. With no confidantes and close to exhaustion, Matt suffers a heart attack, forcing him to reflect on what's become of his life. He recalls a teaching stint in Toronto a year earlier, his encounter with Gavin, a troubled and predatory man, and his discovery that his son had a male partner who had perished with him. He remembers returning to Boston, only to be perplexed by Alison and the affection that she and her beloved falcon draw from the homeless people who live on the Boston Common, but Matt has forgotten a momentary but fateful encounter with Alison eight years earlier in Toronto and it's only when her falcon frightens a child in the parish that even Alison begins to recall her terrifying ordeal years ago as a homeless person in Toronto.


Main characters include Matt O'Reilly, a friar who has passion for birding, but at the same time he is struggling to forgive himself in terms of his past and what he had done. He also feels that he somehow influenced or willed for someone to die during 9/11. Alison is a young woman who is taking care of a broken raptor bird by name of DAISY. She is also attempting to heal by using her father as a guide and by being in nature. If possible, I would describe her as a bit idealistic and innocent.


There is healing in nature


The story is written in third person narrative from Matt's and Alisons points of view. I have to say that I like the cover because it seems apt when describing the contents of the tale. This is also more of a character driven novel rather than plot. Although it's not a religious conversion novel, this is a heavily spiritual novel that focuses a lot on Catholic faith as well as the role of nature and the healing it gives.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

About the Author:

Carole Giangrande is the award-winning author of ten books, including the novella A Gardener on the Moon (winner of the 2010 Ken Klonsky Award) and the novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2018 Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction). The Tender Birds is her fourth novel. She’s worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster), and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in literary journals and in Canada’s major newspapers. In her spare time, she loves exploring nature with her partner Brian, photographing birds and studying French.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Beautiful, tender and graceful, THE TENDER BIRDS BY CAROLE GIANGRANDE strikes me as a novel of startling juxtapositions: that of healing and the vivid details of caring for raptor birds. Yet I enjoyed it a lot, seeing the startling contrasts, getting to know the characters and plumb through the depths of their emotions. Honestly, this is not a tale to rush through, and instead it becomes a tale to look deeply into the hidden depths, teasing out the meaning hidden behind the words.  I might re read soon and see if I can gain understanding from it.

This is for iRead Book Tours

Nov 11 – Over Coffee Conversations – book review / giveaway
Nov 12 – Working Mommy Journal – book review
Nov 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 13 –Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Nov 18 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 18 – fayed – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 19 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Nov 20 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Nov 21 – Svetlana's Reads and Views – book review
Nov 22 - Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
Nov 22 - To Thine Own Shelf – book review
Nov 22 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 25 – Bookmark and Fork – book review / author interview
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


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