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Skyward Paperback – May 24, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780778329978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778329978
  • ASIN: 0778329976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A devoted naturalist and native of South Carolina's Low Country, Monroe is in her element when describing the wonders of nature and the ways people relate to it. In her previous book, The Beach House, she sprinkled information about loggerhead turtles throughout her romance. This time around, she caters to bird-watchers. Harris Henderson handles injured birds with ease at his birds of prey rehab center, but he has no idea how to manage his diabetic five-year-old Marion. Enter Ella Majors, a pediatric nurse-turned-nanny. As Ella cares for the girl, she becomes an integral part of the Hendersons' lives and, before long, Harris begins to see her as more than a plain caretaker. Hauntingly beautiful relationships between birds and people add texture to the story. Most notable are the connections among an elderly black man named Lijah and his eagle, Santee, and a rooster that appears to guard both the center and Brady, a troubled teen working off a community service sentence. Monroe (aka Mary Alice Kruesi) successfully combines elements of women's fiction and romance in this lyrical tale. While it follows a more romantic arc than her previous book, it has enough depth and sophistication to appeal to a broad base of readers.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Harris Henderson is a man with a mission. Almost single-handedly, he's built a sanctuary for injured birds of prey in the wilds of the South Carolina coast. But the birds aren't the only wounded creatures in this book. Harris is so involved with the birds, he has lost much of his ability to connect with humans. And Ella Majors, a nurse Harris has employed to care for his daughter, who has juvenile diabetes, is consumed with overwhelming guilt. There's a strong sense of place in this lyrical tale of two damaged souls who find healing with each other, and although it's not often that education and entertainment are so closely intertwined, this tale is one of those rare exceptions, filled as it is with myriad facts about eagles, owls, ospreys, and many other birds of prey. Another unique feature of this remarkable work is Elijah, a character who hails from the African American Gullah tradition. Monroe's novel is a fascinating, emotion-filled narrative that's not to be missed. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mary Alice Monroe is known for her intimate portrayals of women's lives and keen eye to setting. Monroe brings to life the many colorful people and the compelling story layers of her home--Charleston and the the beaches of the lowcountry.


Mary Alice Monroe's books have achieved several best seller lists including the New York Times, SIBA, and USA Today. She has served on the faculty of numerous writer's conferences and retreats and is a frequent speaker. She serves on the board of the South Carolina Aquarium, the Leatherback Trust, and the Charleston Volunteers for Literacy. Her first children's book received several awards, including the ASPCA Henry Bergh award. In 2008 Monroe was awarded the prestigious SC Center for the Book Award for Fiction.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My very favorite city is Charleston, South Carolina, and it's hard to find a bad book written about the Low Country. Skyward by Mary Alice Monroe is no exception.

Skyward takes place at the Coastal Carolina Center for Birds of Prey, owned and operated by Harris Henderson. Monroe provides us with much interesting information about the many birds treated at the center including eagles, hawks, ospreys, vultures, falcons and owls. But birds aren't the only injured creatures that inhabit the center. Harris suffers from an unhappy childhood, a failed marriage and the recently diagnosed disease of his five year old daughter. Daughter Marion has been wounded by her diabetes and her runaway mom. Nurse Ella Majors flees her native Vermont after seeing one too many children die at the hands of neglectful parents. She takes a job as Marion's fulltime nanny. Brady Simmons is a 16 year old with an abusive father. He's doing community service at the center because he shot an eagle. And Lijah, and elderly Gullah gentleman, has lost his wife and two young sons. He serves as the wise sage who mentors this odd bunch. Somehow, in learning to treat and heal the birds, these wounded souls also learn how to heal themselves and each other. They also discover that the techniques that lead to success in working with the raptors can also help in their interpersonal relationships.

Although I liked the storyline and what happened with the characters, I think that the birds made the book. They each had their own personality and although wild, each staff member had their favorite. Even though Harris doesn't believe in naming wild creatures, the staff was pretty clever at finding the proper name for the right bird. So Santee, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Buh Rooster, Cinnamon, etc.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donna K. on January 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
As neither an outdoorswoman nor a lover of animals, particularly birds of prey, it's a testament to the remarkable talent of Mary Alice Monroe that this book fascinated me as profoundly as it did. Their struggle to be rehabilitated and their flight of freedom is such a powerfully beautiful metaphor, however the birds were not the only beings that found healing in this remarkable story. As a health professional, I was immediately drawn to Ella's character and the loving way she interacted with Marion, providing so much more than mere medical care. Harris was a bit more difficult to warm up to because he was so focused on his work that he seemed to neglect his daughter's emotional needs. Yet, he was a man of such great integrity that it wasn't long before he won me over. The secondary characters gave additional depth to the story - Lijah's Gullah folklore was a wonderful cultural immersion. The inspired way he interacted with Brady, the wayward teen who so desperately needed the guidance of a strong male role model to change the course of his life, was very admirable. And the low country of coastal South Carolina was a brilliantly described setting, making the story literally soar off the pages!

I genuinely appreciated this story and highly recommend it to all who wish to be enlightened.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on July 14, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recommend this book to everyone and anyone. After reading her last book The Beach House, I beacame much more aware with the status of our beloved sea turtles. Now after reading Skyward, I have a new appreciation for the birds of prey. Monroe skillfully intertwines the power and beauty of natural elements into her stories. Her novel was so captivating that I didn't even realize how I had come to better understand the low-country area that I'm from. Reading this novel will make you feel like a better person just for reading it. No matter where you are from, this novel will leave you speaking with a Southern drawl. I absolutely loved it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Minnie Bourque on March 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One more time Mary Alice Monroe has come through for her readers! Skyward was such a delightful book to read. I couldn't put it down...loved the characters, the setting and all the "real" information of the Carolinas that was hidden in the story. I'm looking forward to another of her books and have recently started enjoying Girl in the Mirror. Skyward has been passed on to others waiting in line to enjoy it!

Thanks, Mary Alice, for sharing your talents!

Minnie Bourque
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harris Henderson is in shock from the medical report that informs him that his beloved five-year-old daughter Marion suffers from the worst type of juvenile diabetes. Desperate he advertises for a caregiver, hoping to have someone apply to live in his isolated bird sanctuary and rehabilitation center in the wilderness in the South Carolina Low Country. However, he feels lucky when a registered pediatric nurse answers his ad. Weary Ella Majors feels burned out helplessly watching children die after a decade in the ER; she feels the change from Vermont to Carolina will rejuvenate her. The two agree on a one-year contract after a one-month trial period.
Harris soon finds himself surrounded by two-legged prey. Besides his new employee, a teen is sentenced to giving community time at the center for shooting a bird. Marian's druggie mother arrives causing havoc for one all. However, amidst these intruders, Harris and Ella fall in love even while the nurse also loves her patient.
This strong contemporary romance stays above the soap opera level that the plot could have become because the big three members of the cast seems very real as they reach out to one another. The birds and their home provide an atypical background so that the audience will appreciate the way Mary Alice Monroe spins it into the tale. The teen enables the reader to see how much the adults care, but the mother is too pathetic too matter except in adding unnecessary tension to a powerful human drama.
Harriet Klausner
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