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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

Addison Allen's magical realism story is set on an island off the coast of South Carolina and offers lots of heart, interactive ghosts, and friends like family.

"There are birds, and then there are other birds. Maybe they don't sing. Maybe they don't fly. Maybe they don't fit in. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be an other bird than just the same old thing."

Addison Allen's Other Birds is set on an island off the coast of South Carolina as main protagonist Zoey comes to take ownership of her deceased mother's apartment.

After Zoey's beloved mother died, Zoey's father and stepmother prioritized her stepsiblings emotionally and in every other way. Yet Zoey is without bitterness, and she is eager to experience the world and become independent. (An inherited apartment and money she has gained access to at age 18 help.)

Zoey shows her kind and delightfully unguarded nature as she befriends her mother's neighbors and begins working for the charming complex's owner, all the while cultivating her obsession with a reclusive, mysterious local author whose magical story or personal generosity seems to have affected every person on Mallow Island.

When one neighbor in the condo complex dies suddenly, Zoey embarks on a search for answers that leads her to the heart of the island.

Other Birds is big-hearted story with magical realism, ghosts that haunt or help, earnest sweetness, a little wholesome romance, and a cute small-town setting.

The friendships that are forged into a sort of family were lovely.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Sarah Addison Allen is a North Carolina author.

Other Bossy reads with magical realism (you can find reviews for each of these on this site) include Thistlefoot, What You Can See From Here, The Harpy, The Impossible Destiny of Cutie Grackle, The Light Pirate, and The Water Dancer.

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