Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
This beautiful memoir is as utterly wonderful as it sounds. Written by a woman who wakes every morning to a symphony of songs, chatter, and calls from the 350 birds of 40 species that’s she’s rescued and housed in colorful and imaginatively decorated aviaries in her back and side yards, I was almost cooing with happiness as I read. It’s pages are packed with lively avian personalities, birds who scheme, talk, tease, fall in love, cope, connect, dance, mourn, celebrate, and pick cage locks. There are moving stories of mistreated birds saved, abandoned birds given a home, and lonely birds found a mate.
Author Michele Raffin’s interest in birds began almost by accident but quickly grew into an overwhelming, almost all-consuming obsession. Her book chronicles the joys, disappointments, triumphs, and heartbreaks of the personal hobby that she grew into an official nonprofit sanctuary, breeding and saving birds who are endangered in the wild and using outreach programs to educate the public about the plight of birds and the acute need for conservation. Written in a conversational style that makes this a fast and enjoyable read, there is obviously a serious side to its message too.
The only thing that would make me love this book more would be if it had color photos because I’d love to see all those wonderful birds, including Sweetie, a tiny joy-filled quail who was meant to be somebody’s supper, Oscar, a Lady Gouldian finch who hops determinedly from perch to perch to roost with his mates at the top of the aviary because he can’t fly, Tico, an incorrigible, too smart for his own good but affectionate blue and gold macaw, and Amadeus, a one legged Lady Ross’s turaco who perches precariously on the laps of autistic boys that come to visit, but won’t come that close to anyone else. I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied by the publisher so it’s possible the final version will have pictures. The review opinions are mine.
UPDATE: I got a hardback copy of the finished book and it has 16 stunning pages with gorgeous color photographs of the birds and the aviary.