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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

20 August 2013

Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin is a coming of age novel set in 1926 - a time in American history when young women began to realize they could make choices outside of family expectation.

Garnet Richardson is going to spend the summer with her aunt and cousin at a hotel on the lake in Excelsior, Minnesota. He aunt, Mrs. Harrington, is more well off than Garnets family. While she is away her mother hopes to help her father out the depression he brought back from the war.

Garnet is excited about a town on a lake. She is fascinated with birds. As a young girl, she and her father would walk through the woods and study the birds there. Later, once she got old enough that science and traipsing through the woods became unladylike (according to her mother) she could only watch the birds from afar.

When her aunt and cousin turn out to be boring, Garnet has the idea to get a job. And on the first day of her job, Garnet meets Isabella Strand - a flapper who dances at the local dance hall. And while Garnet can not exactly imagine going home after the summer and marrying her beau, she could see herself spending all of the time she can sneak away with Isabella.

Griffin has crafted a beautiful story of first love in a lush setting and time period. Her characters and descriptions will fill more that the page as readers fall in love with the book. And bird lovers will relish the themes.

Griffin, Molly Beth. (2012). Silhouette of a Sparrow. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed.


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