From Library Journal
The folks of Pinetop, New Mexico, would like their town to become a trendy tourist trap, but, alas, it is only a small, sleepy Southwestern place where everyone knows one another's business. Birdy Stone, a misplaced Chicagoan and high school English teacher, is just passing through, or at least that is what she says. Birdy is a thirtysomething slacker who conveniently finds a kindred spirit in her fellow teacher, Jesus Morales. Life for Birdy consists of watching movies and drinking with Jesus, until Mrs. Anthony, a local woman, asks Birdy to edit her life story. Birdy then becomes involved in the curious tale of the Anthony family. In 1984, daughter Teresa fell over a cliff to her death on the Fourth of July. Two weeks later, Teresa's father was killed in a car accident. Suspecting foul play, Birdy begins to ask questions. In addition to her investigation into the double death, she also becomes involved with Mark, Mrs. Anthony's son and Birdy's student. The past, present, and future intermingle in this story of love, friendship, family, and death. A clearly written novel with characters who are honest and believable.?Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
One of the many pleasures of Nelson's finely crafted and deeply felt novels, which include the award-winning Talking in Bed
(1996), is her bright humor, and she has never been funnier, shrewder, or more magnetic than she is here. Her heroine, Birdy Stone, has fled all kinds of heartache in her hometown of Chicago, exiling herself to tiny Pinetop, New Mexico, where she teaches high-school English and hangs out with her one friend, Jesus, who is also an outsider by virtue of his homosexuality. But Birdy is destined for more complicated involvements. A tense little woman named Mrs. Anthony hires Birdy to help her write a memoir about the deaths of her daughter and husband, and Birdy not only becomes obsessed with these mysterious tragedies, she also enters into a wildly erotic affair with Mrs. Anthony's 17-year-old son. As the inevitable complications arise and Birdy tries to understand not only her current predicaments but also the sorrows of her past, Nelson adroitly illuminates our unending struggle to understand ourselves and our often bewildering relationships with family, friends, and lovers. This resonant novel has the power of the best of Ellen Gilchrist and Lorrie Moore and deserves as wide a readership. Donna Seaman