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Maud Newton has written an unforgettable story that will stay with me for a long time. Her use of language is exquisite and appropriate to her theme. I especially loved the analogy that exists between the two flocks: Lula's mother was forced, through tragedy, to give up her human "flock," and her inability to let go of her birds seems to reflect her need to be a nurturing mother. It defines her as a human being. The richness of Ms. Newton's descriptions, and the development of her characters are riveting and will be remembered by her readers.
I loved the excerpt and anxiously await the publication of the novel.
A devilishly good story. Rich and rewarding.
I have mad love for this excerpt. It knocked the feathers off me, so to speak. It doesn't flinch for one second. Kudos to Maud and to Narrative.
As an aside, the past few months I've been obsessed with getting a bird. I'm craving a sun conure. Reading this is quite timely in that strange way of the universe.
Captivating and funny. I stumbled onto "When the Flock Changed" this morning, letting my bath grow cold as I read it, drawn into the activity of the people, the birds, and the house. Wonderful imagery, language, emotion, and style.
I'm off now to feed Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth their organic millet and to add hot water to the tub.
I'm curious about Paul; what sort of man would live with a woman like that? Unlike the narrator, he is presumably free to go. I read this just after reading Lynn Freed's story, "The Servants Quarters," where a curious similarity exists in the voice of an angry pre-teen girl in a sick family.
Top notch! A combination of light-hearted snark and Poe-like dark, which is exactly what most real childhoods consist of.
When I say Poe, I'm thinking of The Black Cat. When the protagonist killed the cat, I simultaneously cringed and identified with him. Not that I ever killed a cat, but I know that feeling remorse after doing something in anger. I think most kids do.
That one morbid thought aside, this is primarily a humorous hoot of a story. I was cracking up over the daughter's reactions to her mother's weirdness. Again, just like real life.
I love this. I laughed so hard when Lula described the bird lying in wait, mimicking her voice, and catching her most vulnerable moments, that my children came out of their rooms, abandoning their video games. I love how you make Lula sound so normal in such a crazy environment. Goes to show you, you can get used to anything. Brilliant! Thanks for this laugh of the day.
What an amazing story - with all of the intangible qualities that make a story, er, amazing, wonderful and an awesome read. Thanks, Maud
Very belated thanks for reading, everyone!