Book Reviews of The Book of Dead Birds

The Book of Dead Birds
The Book of Dead Birds
Author: Gayle Brandeis
ISBN-13: 9780060528041
ISBN-10: 0060528044
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Book of Dead Birds on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Captured me in the first moments and never let me down. The best fiction contains all truth. This is very good. The sun here came out for the first time in weeks and I was hard pressed to put the book down and enjoy the warming rays. A book easily started and finished in one setting, as long as you ingnore the sunshine calling. As a mother, I see how even unintentially I am affecting my daughters lives and feelings of self.
reviewed The Book of Dead Birds on + 243 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a complicated book about mothers and daughter, love,rebirth and about endangered species. The language is beautiful!
reviewed The Book of Dead Birds on + 108 more book reviews
There were parts of this book that I really liked, mostly when the main character, Ava Sing Lo, was describing her childhood. Ava's mother was mysteriously awful, and at the same time exhiliratingly different. I had read the opening passage, in which Ava's mother puts her on a see-saw and jumps down hard on the other end, sending little Ava high up into the air -- because long ago, women were kept within high walls and they had to jump up to see the world. This passage was what made me want to seek out this book. Stories about strange parenting are so interesting, especially ones in which the parents risk concussion in order to give their children wondrous and profound experiences. You have to love someone pretty hard to do that for them -- but at the same time, Ava's mother hates her because her skin is dark. So many mysteries!

Unfortunately, this note is not struck again in the rest of the book. Ava's mother continues to be awful, but not mysterious. They never discuss Ava's race. She doesn't give Ava any more dramatic experiences: in fact, she does the opposite, she shuts Ava down until Ava is a tight ball of frigidity. She is not magic, she is just very damaged. In the end, she doesn't teach Ava about flying over walls, she teaches her to become the wall, and Ava has to figure out how to get around that on her own. It wasn't at all clear to me that her mother actually loved Ava. I think, like the rest of her life, Ava was something she managed to endure.

It was a good coming-of-age story, and a good learning-to-fly story, but it wasn't as good a book as I was hoping it would be.
reviewed The Book of Dead Birds on + 15 more book reviews
If birds and nature give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, this book will make you glow. I loved it.
reviewed The Book of Dead Birds on + 12 more book reviews
Ava Sing Lo has been accidentally killing her Mother's birds. Now she leaves home to volunteer to help invironmental activists save thousands of birds. Helen, her mother, has been haunted by her past. Helen was drawn into prostitution fon a segregated American army base in Korea.

The book captures a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her mother's past while she searches for her own place in the world