“You’re a girl as long as you allow life to happen to you,” a wise woman tells Margie Fitzgerald, the sensitive, lovelorn heroine of Brown’s debut novel. An impressionable college student when the story begins, Margie falls hard for her handsome, damaged Latin professor, Simon, a single father and dedicated animal rights activist. Simon brings Margie into his group H.E.A.R.T. (Humans Encouraging Animal Rights Today), and it isn’t long before Margie is joining protests and liberating animals from pet stores. When Simon abruptly ends their relationship, he leaves the group in her hands, and Margie goes to such extremes she’s arrested by the FBI. After another member puts up bail for her, the group convinces Margie to flee to an Indian reservation in Montana, where she is taken in by a Crow family: Jim, a single father; his mother, Evelyn; and his preteen daughter, Cora. In vibrant, colorful language that leaps off the page, Brown paints her winsome heroine’s coming-of-age with compassion and affection in this lush, compelling tale. --Kristine Huntley
"The Lovebird proves to be more than the story of an ill-fated romance between a timid co-ed with a Strawberry Shortcake suitcase and a predatory teacher. The affair between the diffident Margie Fitzgerald and her Latin professor fades out . . . [and] with the help of one of her animal activist friends, she flees to a Crow reservation in Montana. Specifically, she’s deposited, like one of the stray bunnies she likes to save, at the home of a wise and elderly Crow woman and her family . . . . Brown’s skill pulls us into Granma’s warm, nurturing orbit in spite of ourselves. One reason we love her is the goodness she’s passed on to her son Jim.... Skating so close to cliché and stereotype, then subverting them a little; making you feel for and believe in her characters and care about what happens to them—these are signs of real talent. Natalie Brown is a real talent." –Bookpage
“In vibrant, colorful language that leaps off the page, Brown paints her winsome heroine’s coming-of-age with compassion and affection in this lush, compelling tale.” –Booklist
“The Lovebird is a compassionate and inviting novel about loneliness and heartbreak, finding a place to belong, and what we will do to protect the things we love. Brown evokes great emotion with her small and perfect details. The image of the lovebird—confused and lost—touched me to the core, and stayed with me long after I shut the book.” —Jennifer Close, bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses
"Natalie Brown has written a sly and quietly funny novel of a young woman’s coming of age. Her unusual heroine, Margie Fitzgerald, is a passionate innocent, a dreamer blessed with loopy confidence, charming directness, and a very American logic all her own." —Honor Moore, author of The Bishop’s Daughter
“The Lovebird asks us what it means to love, to belong, to believe. It's a book about new vision, second chances, and one young woman's desire to find her place among her human--and animal--kin.” —Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men
This tale started off slowly...very slowly; in fact I was a bit sorry I purchased the book after the first 100 pages or so and contemplated giving up on it, something I seldom do... Read morePublished 6 months ago by William D. Brisbane
This was a wonderful read. Ms. Brown's characters come alive as you read the story of a young woman coming into her own. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lynn
This is such an interesting novel- imperfect, but with elements that entertain and hook the reader. Most of us could relate to a naive young lady whose love of animals and lack of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by N. Ferguson R.
Love birds, ideally, are found in pairs. One love bird is a sad sight - sitting, lonely, on its perch - always looking for its other half. Read morePublished 18 months ago by E.M. Jalph
"The Lovebird" by Natalie Brown was slow reading from the start of the story until around half way through. Then the writing and the story pick up to a faster pace. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Wilhelmina Zeitgeist
A great debut novel. Sure, it has some problems. It doesn't take off until you are about 40 pages in, but it really improves then. I liked the main character, Margie. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lauri Crumley Coates
Natalie is a new author, has a great grasp of the characters and a good storyline. You can't go wrong to read it and support a new author!Published 21 months ago by Bonnie Murphy
I don't usually take the time to post reviews but this gorgeous book made quite an impression. For one thing, the prose is so beautiful, at times breathtakingly so, that I... Read morePublished 22 months ago by A.
The Lovebird is the story of a young college student who transitions from an impressionable girl into a full-fledged adult. Read morePublished 22 months ago by atavism