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The Bird Catcher Paperback – June 22, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Laura Jacobs is an urban miniaturist. In her sleek, pitch-perfect second novel, The Bird Catcher, she lavishes delectable attention on the subtle distinctions wrought by taste, class, money, and style in the city on which she trains her eagle eye….Jacobs orchestrates her character's sonata as expansively and dramatically as a symphony whose strains linger on, long after the last page has been turned.” —Bookforum
“Jacobs presents a measured and compelling yet nonlinear narrative so that readers encounter Margret's life in pieces. And it is well worth the effort to get to know her. Jacobs' incisive writing captures her characters' moods, while her graceful descriptions of the birds that inspire her protagonist illuminate the story.” —Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
I loved this book. It was quiet. It was poignant. It's the story of a woman who dresses windows in Saks and who loves birds. It's a story about a woman and her relationship with her grandfather, her soulmate and her best friend. It's a story of a woman who finds herself adrift after a tragic event. As certain events in her life appear to spiral out of her control, it's also a story of a woman who gradually finds her way again and sees light at the end of a dark tunnel.
There are some good descriptions of birds found in Central Park, NY and incredible details in the art of taxidermy - at least the taxidermy of birds which I found fascinating, but which I can see might revolt those with a lighter stomach for this art.
I liked how the story focused on this one woman, Margret, and her love of birds, and how her thoughts and fears were gradually shared. We know she has a secret with the birds she looks for, but we're not quite sure what she's doing. There are little hints that all is not well in her life at the start of the book, but we're not given the full details until much later, after we've already started to suspect a tragedy and we're already starting to feel we want to wrap her in our arms. While we may not whoop out loud at the end of her journey, there is a definite lift in our spirits as we see her start to straighten her shoulders, lift her head and look forward with clear eyes and a spring in her step.
This is the backstory to The Bird Catcher. The lead character Margaret falls in love with a fellow birder, a man named Charles who is actually one of her professors. They spend their early courtship exploring birds in Manhattan. In her real life, she's a window dresser for Saks, and she assists her friend Emily in acquiring unique pieces for an art gallery. These three form the backbone of the book, and each of them are well-developed characters. The story doesn't fall into any expected formula, and the characters are actually very interesting. Jacobs manages to display each characters unique personality by showing what they say and do. While the main characters are female, I wouldn't dream of calling this "chick lit"; it has more depth and more complexity by far.
Conceptually, this is a great book. However, I had numerous issues with the story itself. First, we learn early that Charles has passed away, but we aren't told how or when, which builds a curiosity as you read. Margaret seems to be explaining her relationship with him in flashbacks, but it's never entirely clear what is past and what is present. Even through the end, when you discover what happened to Charles, the explanation feels too brief to understand her resulting grief.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book as a gift for a friend who is a bird lover. I have no idea what the book is avout and I just liked th title and the reviews.Published on April 20, 2013 by Mary Z
Margret Snow is lonely and figuratively lost at sea. After the tragic loss of her husband, Charles, she loses interest in her promising job of dressing windows at her friend... Read morePublished on November 3, 2011 by eclecticreviewer
Jacobs has written a gorgeous novel in which she deftly demonstrates how the impulse to create mingles and co-exsits with the need to grieve. Read morePublished on September 26, 2009 by Yona Zeldis McDonough
I hoped this would be a story of the life of someone who really loves birds and appreciates them. However, I found a story of a shallow woman, poorly written, jumping all over the... Read morePublished on September 25, 2009 by Kindle Customer
Margret Snow is passionate about birds, a feeling she shares with her husband, Charles. For Margret, bird-watching represents more than an escape from her uninspiring job as a... Read morePublished on July 11, 2009 by L. Raimondo