Before Women Had Wings

Before Women Had Wings

3.99 (2,892 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1965 Bird, christened Avocet, aged six, is living with her family in a Florida citrus grove. Daddy and Mama, who run a general store, fight frequently and drink too much; Bird and her older sister Phoebe are beaten equally frequently. Daddy is eventually found dead in his car; Mama and the girls leave the grove and move into a trailer in the grounds of a motel outside Tampa. Bird, against Mama's wishes, makes friends with Miss Zora, a black woman in a neighbouring trailer. Miss Zora is a kindly white witch, whose wisdom and herbal remedies provide a mainstay in Bird's difficult life. Bird runs away to the city to escape her mother's cruelty, and meets a gentle biker who brings her home. Mama finally agrees to get help for her alcoholism, and Miss Zora takes Bird and Phoebe to live with her at her home in South Florida.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 24mm | 322.05g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552777811
  • 9780552777810

Review quote

"'There is no denying the depth of her talent and the breadth of her imagination'" * The New York Times Book Review * "'A thing of heart-rending beauty, a moving exploration of love and loss, violence and grief, forgiveness and redemption'" * Chicago Tribune * "'Stinging with tenderness, this is her best yet, a necessary story with an unstoppable emotional force'" -- Amy Tan, author of The Bonesetter's Daughter "'A warm and lyrical writer who deserves to be better known'" -- Kate Atkinson, author of Human Croquetshow more

Flap copy

Starstruck by a dime-store picture of Jesus, Avocet Abigail "Bird" Jackson fancies herself "His girlfriend" and embarks upon a spiritual quest for salvation, even as the chaos of her home life plunges her into a stony silence. In stark and honest language, Bird tells the tragic tale of her father, a sweet-talking wanna-be country music star, tracks her older sister's perilous journey into womanhood, and witnesses her mother make a courageous and ultimately devastating decision. Yet most profound is Bird's own story--her struggle to sift through the ashes of her parents' lives, her meeting with Miss Zora, a healer whose prayers over the bones of winged creatures are meant to guide their souls to heaven, and her will to make sense of a world where fear is more plentiful than hope, retribution more valued than love. . . .show more

Back cover copy

Starstruck by a dime-store picture of Jesus, Avocet Abigail "Bird" Jackson fancies herself "His girlfriend" and embarks upon a spiritual quest for salvation, even as the chaos of her home life plunges her into a stony silence. In stark and honest language, Bird tells the tragic tale of her father, a sweet-talking wanna-be country music star, tracks her older sister's perilous journey into womanhood, and witnesses her mother make a courageous and ultimately devastating decision.Yet most profound is Bird's own story -- her struggle to sift through the ashes of her parents' lives, her meeting with Miss Zora, a healer whose prayers over the bones of winged creatures are meant to guide their souls to heaven, and her will to make sense of a world where fear is more plentiful than hope, retribution more valued than love....show more

About Connie May Fowler

Connie May Fowler is an essayist and screenwriter as well as the author of four novels: Sugar Cage, River of Hidden Dreams, Before Women Had Wings, a paperback bestseller in the USA which was made into a successful film by Oprah Winfrey and was winner of the 1996 Southern Book Critics Circle Award, and Remembering Blue.show more

Rating details

2,892 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 33% (947)
4 40% (1,169)
3 22% (628)
2 4% (116)
1 1% (32)
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