The Gravity of Birds

The Gravity of Birds | Author: Tracy Guzeman | Rating: 9/11 |

A departure from the recent non-fiction reviews, Tracy Guzeman’s breakout novel, The Gravity of Birds, is so captivating you won’t be able to put it down (I couldn’t!). So much of today’s fiction is predictable and formulaic, but Guzeman’s prose wove a story that was as unexpected as it was beautiful, interweaving the lives of six different characters and spanning multiple generations. Though the story certainly has an undercurrent of melancholy to it, with the theme of loneliness as a part of the human condition a major one, I found the book to be overwhelmingly one of love and forgiveness. This particular passage developed personal meaning:

“…people always do things they hadn’t intended to do. You’re angry. You allow yourself the luxury of considering a horrible thought. You don’t have any intention of acting on it, of course, but you’ve given it a home in your head. It burrows in, pays attention, waits for an opportunity. And in the moment when something requires a decision, it’s right there, seeming just as viable as the saner option, the morally correct response. So you choose. And with one decision, you’ve become a different person, capable of doing something so reprehensible, you convince yourself it’s complete justified.”

Who amongst us has never allowed themselves to indulge in a thought they would never imagine giving life to? Who hasn’t walked the line between what they should do and what they wish they could do? In a time when we find it so easy to condemn – politically, personally, professionally – who couldn’t use a lesson in forgiveness?

The Gravity of Birds is a highly enjoyable and thoughtful examination of human nature, and highly recommended to anyone looking for a solid summer read for both the head and the heart.