Sugar Birds Published by She Writes Press on August 3, 2021
Source: Review copy
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Nature & the Environment, Fiction / Romance / Suspense, Fiction / Small Town & Rural
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Northwest Washington State, 1985
For years, Harris Hayes has taught his daughter, Aggie, the ways of the northern woods. So when her mother's depression worsens, Harris shows the girl how to find and sketch the nests of wild birds as an antidote to sadness. Aggie is in a tree far overhead when her unpredictable mother spots her and forbids her to climb. Angry, the ten-year-old accidentally lights a tragic fire, then flees downriver. She lands her boat near untamed forest, where she hides among the trees and creatures she considers her only friends—determined to remain undiscovered.
A search party gathers by Aggie’s empty boat hours after Celia, fresh off the plane from Houston, arrives at her grandmother’s nearby farm. Hurting from her parents’ breakup, she also plans to run. But when she joins the hunt for Aggie, she meets two irresistible young men who compel her to stay. One is autistic; the other, dangerous.
Perfect for fans of The Scent Keeper, Where The Crawdads Sing, and The Great Alone, Sugar Birds immerses readers in a layered, evocative coming-of-age story set in the breathtaking natural world where characters encounter the mending power of forgiveness—for themselves and for those who have failed them.
A fantastic debut from She Writes Press about two girls wounded and hurt set in the Pacific Northwest. The perfect book to take on a camping trip or sit out in the park on a summer day. You will be whisked away and enraptured from the first page. First, we have a ten-year-old Aggie who loves to climb, explore, and feels trapped by her mother’s protective nature. She accidentally sets a fire that destroys her family home and what she thinks are her parents. Scared, she hides in the forest using the various skills she has been taught by her father to stay alive.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old named Celia is dropped at her grandmother’s by her father, who has to leave her for work. She is hurt and upset, so she hatches a plan to escape, but before she does, she attracts the attention of older gentlemen, and she altered to the disappearance of Aggie. The title of the book is perfect and fits well the theme of the book. I loved reading about Aggie, who is hurt and worried and struggles to survive in the woods. She makes for quite an interesting character. Her determination to stay hidden until she is faced with possibly losing her new friend and her brother to someone who everyone trusts force her to make the hard choice to come out of the light. A great debut not to be missed this summer.