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  • Kate Wolford

Book Review: Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

This book comes together in a very meaningful way. By the end, I was teary-eyed, in a good way.

The action takes place on a fictional island, (Mallow, outside of Charleston), and at the Dellawisp, a beautiful and haunted old place that’s got a few condos and a lot of ghosts. Indeed, the main characters are all haunted. They include college freshman Zoey, skittish Charlotte, sweet and lonely Mac, and Frasier, the apparent caretaker of the building who has a supernatural relationship with the rare Dellawisp birds who live in the garden.

This being a Sarah Addison Allen book, the supernatural unapologetically exists in this story. I’d have been very disappointed if it hadn’t been. But the book itself seems haunted, and like ghosts, the outlines and details come together slowly. That’s okay, because Addison Allen pulls it all together slowly, then much faster and very completely.

There are literal and figurative ghosts here, and Addison Allen doesn't shrink from showing that everyone suffers and that everyone keeps secrets. Yet it is not a book about suffering. It’s more a book about how we continue to grow up and surprise ourselves and others all of our days—and beyond. And the last few pages are exceptionally moving.

Sarah Addison Allen is back, and in top form. Hooray!

NetGalley very kindly gave me this book in exchange for a review.

Review by Kate Wolford


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