Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: Birdie

My friend, Shirley, is awesome. She is awesome for many reasons but in terms of my reading this month, she is especially awesome :) Every year CBC (kind of like NPR) hosts a Canada Reads debate in early spring. In January, CBC announced the five books for this year and Shirley immediately put them on hold at the library. And then she said she'd share them with people who were interested. And I decided to try and read all five books because Shirley was making it really easy :)
image from here

The first book I read was Birdie by Tracey Lindberg. Birdie is the story of Bernice, a Cree Indian woman, who goes on an inner spiritual journey in an attempt to try healing from her past. It is hard to tell whether Bernice (who goes by "Birdie" sometimes) takes this journey willfully or not.

This is not a linear book. Nor are there a lot of clear answers. I still couldn't tell you quite how the story ended. I can tell you that Birdie had a rough life and a lot of hurtful things to overcome. I can't tell you whether she managed to do that by the end of the book, or not, but I think she did.

I will say that this is a very Canadian book. Nature plays a role. CBC television personalities play a role. Even Canadian food is brought in there. Birdie spends some time in Edmonton and those scenes made me a little homesick.

I also really liked some of the strong, quirky, women figures who surround Birdie as she journeys. While flawed, they had their funny moments and they loved Birdie fiercely.

I don't know if I liked this book or not. It was more of a stream of consciousness without a lot of explanation rather than a straight forward novel. But I think that, again, is somewhat Canadian. So if you're looking for a journey into one woman's mind, with a little Canadian culture thrown in, then pick up this book.

So once again, a shout out to Shirley who will be influencing my reading this month. It's good to get a little Canadian once in awhile!


  1. Sounds Proustian. Have you ever read anything by Marcel Proust? His book series "A Remembrance of Things Past" is said to open up like a fan (instead of being linear). The first line is, "For a long time I went to bed early." I like to joke and say, "For a long time I tried to read Proust." lol :)


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