The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Gravity of Birds



Thank you Book Browse for introducing me to another new author, Tracy Guzeman and The Gravity of Birds (B+).

Its 1963, the Kessler’s are vacationing at their lakeside cottage. Usually, the family’s summer is spent relaxing by the water. This year things are different. They have a new neighbor, Thomas Bayber who is using his cottage as an artist studio. With his open and friendly ways, he becomes a distraction for Natalie, 17 and fourteen year old Alice, a distraction that will forever changes their lives.

Fast-forward to 2007, Thomas Bayber has not painted for over 20 years. In 1972, after much success as an artist, he suddenly stopped painting. Unable to care for himself or his finances, he lives in pretty poor conditions. Ill and nearing the end of his life, he summons his friend and confidant, Professor Dennis Finch revealing to him a painting that no one has ever seen. It is a portrait of the Kessler sisters painted the summer of 1963. Before this newly discovered piece is sold, it must be authenticated. At the request of Bayber, Finch employs the help of Stephen Jameson a young art historian who is down on his luck.

Guzeman weaves an incredible tale alternating chapters between past and present. She slowly unravels the deeply complicated story of Natalie and Alice while linking the other characters to them. I enjoyed this pace because it allowed me to digest each new bit of information and integrate it with what I already knew. The characterization was well delivered and the story captivating. It’s been awhile since I haven’t wanted a book to end but The Gravity of Birds made sad when it was done.  I hope you mark this book, as one to read. You will not be disappointed.


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