The Birdcatcher

I’m going to preface my review by saying that maybe I am just too lowbrow to enjoy this work of literature. It is beautifully written and a National Book Award finalist (amongst other accolades) but it was not my cup of tea. So it gets an A+ for the writing, but a B- for (personal!) enjoyability. So take this review for what it is… the review of someone who loves great writing but values plot over writing. This was just a little too literary for me. The book takes place primarily on the island of Ibiza. Amanda is a writer (with a past of her own). Her best friend Catherine is a talented sculptor, but Catherine can’t stop trying to kill her husband. Because of this, she is repeatedly institutionalized. Meanwhile, her husband will never leave her! There’s an interesting cast of characters… all mostly artists and writers. There are Amanda’s different lovers (including a Black man whose entire lower body has turned white), a (potentially murderous) painter called Gillette (like the razor), and more. It’s a weird little book but the writing is incredible. While it wasn’t my favorite, I’m still very glad I read it.

Author: Gayl Jones