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madbkwm

madbkwm

The Bird Sisters - Rebecca Rasmussen This novel was very readable and quite compelling. I enjoyed the narrator's tone and the girl's wit throughout. Overall, though, it wasn't remarkable. There were a few minor problems with plot/timeline and utimately, I did not feel that Milly would have given Asa to Bett (or that Asa would have taken her). Yes, Milly's character is to never think of herself; but we do see her think of herself on fair day when she pushes Twiss and spends the day under the bleachers. I understand why she didn't think she could leave Twiss at that time, but she is only 16...certainly she could accept Asa's proposal, but wait two years for the wedding. I also wasn't sure why everyone was so interested in Bett. I understood Mr. Peterson's attentions to be amorous; wouldn't he have been interested in a young, if not so beautiful wife?

Certainly, part of the reason Milly relinquishes Asa is out of fear of romantic love. Both her mother and her aunt puportedly married for love and both are miserable as adults. Milly would not have to give up anything (in fact Asa is quite above her social standing), but I would have liked to see Rassmussen explore this aspect of Millly's character more: does she put Bett and Asa together because she thinks they will have a better chance at happiness (or at least contentment), if they are not in love?

On a note slightly more petty, I was frustrated by a few conveniences (as always). I thought that Milly saw the tonic bottles in the attic and then lead back to the fair story was unnecesary. She had been thinking of that summer and the day of the fair all day as she did her chores. We (the reader) did not need a reason for her to go back to the story. THEN, in describing the fair day, it turns out that Twiss sold all the jars (yes she then had to return some, but those jars would have been opened and would not have been kept in the attic). Sloppy and convenient. I was also absolutely furious when Milly and Twiss find Father Rice on the river on the day of the wedding. OMG such a stupid ploy. He has no right to be there and if Rassmussen wanted to give us some of his wisdom, Milly could have found a packet of letters up in the attic that she had not previously read in which Twiss and Rice discuss the whole episode.

There were, however, a few good truthful moments: "It isn't a sweet as it used to be, they'd say, when what they really meant was I'm almost used to being unhappy." and "'Everything we do is for ourselves,' their father said. 'That doesn't take away the goodness of the act, though.'"

Decent entertainment for a summer day, but nothing really noteworthy.