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The Bird House ~ Kelly Simmons

March 7, 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction/Family Drama
Publisher: Washington Square Press
288 pages
ISBN: 9781439160930
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

All families have secrets; some are just more secret than others.

After a lifetime of disappointment and tragedy, Ann Biddle has found a small amount of peace in reconnecting with her eight year old grand-daughter, Ellie. Though Ann is in her golden twilight, a school project and an overzealous daughter-in-law begin to decode the lock on what Ann has kept hidden for years. Suddenly, less than golden past threatens to seep forward from the mist and dissipate all that she currently holds dear.

Though the story is told through Ann’s journal entries, forty years apart, the book feels comfortable and open, like a more traditional narration. I often find journal based books or those heavily weighted with letters to be clunky and hard to relate to. Ann is an emotional, relatable narrator, full of wonderful and dark things. Through family loss, her own cancer and not-so-torrid affairs, her history is one that is one part fictional, one part too easily swallowed as “just life”.

The pure feeling felt throughout the book was very different from I had expected going in to the reading. Having just finished Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough (also intertwining time and generations, albeit very differently), I thought I might be in for a less exciting ride. This, thankfully, was not the case. I was blown away by the subtleties in Ann’s storytelling, even as she crossed into dark waters, past and present.

Though two generations older than I am, Ann spoke to my inner mom and inner woman in a way I wasn’t sure someone hitting her seventies would be able to. All around, a great read, though tough in some spots, this is a book for anyone who likes a good story or for anyone who believes that a normal, happy family has more to tell than meets the eye.


About Kelly Simmons

Kelly Simmons is the author of the critically acclaimed Simon & Schuster novel, Standing Still, and coming in February, The Bird House. She is a former journalist and advertising creative director who lives in the Philadelphia area with her family, and divides her time between writing, teaching, public speaking, and vacuuming up dog hair. She was born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois, and credits weekly visits to the Waukegan Public Library for her literary prowess. (Her determination to succeed, however, could only come from being a Cubs fan.) Visit her website at

Connect with Kelly on Facebook and Twitter.

Kelly’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, February 15th: Books Like Breathing

Wednesday, February 16th: Lori’s Reading Corner

Thursday, February 17th: Colloquium

Monday, February 21st: Tina’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, February 22nd: Luxury Reading

Thursday, February 24th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Tuesday, March 1st: Amused By Books

Wednesday, March 2nd: Life in the Thumb

Monday, March 7th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog

Wednesday, March 9th: Good Girl Gone Redneck

Friday, March 11th: Life In Review

Monday, March 14th: Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, March 16th: My Reading Room

Monday, March 21st: Debbie’s Book Bag

Friday, March 25th: Rundpinne

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2011 12:14 pm

    I thought it might be difficult to relate to an older protagonist like Ann so I’m glad to know that wasn’t the case. I’m really looking forward to this book, especially considering that my own Gram is in her late 80s and starting to forget things now.

    Thanks for being on this tour!

  2. March 7, 2011 1:40 pm

    Oh, I think there is always more to a happy normal family than meets the eye! I am glad to hear that this book did not disappoint you and that you liked it. It might be something that I would enjoy as well!

  3. March 7, 2011 6:28 pm

    Just finished this today and I really enjoyed it. I think you’re on the money when it comes to the rough spots, emotionally that was draining, but I loved the book overall!

  4. March 8, 2011 8:47 am

    Thanks for reviewing my book and I am so glad you liked it!
    If any of your readers have a book club — I do book club visits on Skype.


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