"Here is an exquisitely written, completely original, and deeply moving meditation on true love...Love and Ordinary Creatures is Rubio's best book."
— Silas House, author of Clay's Quilt and Eli the Good
"This stunningly imaginative work explores the psychological and emotional boundaries of the human condition with grace and power."
— Linda Scott DeRosier, Ph.D., author of Creeker: A Woman's Journey and Songs of Life and Grace
New York Times bestselling author Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s highly anticipated new novel...
Love and Ordinary Creatures is told through the eyes of a cockatoo in love with his very human caretaker. Snatched in a net from his Australian homeland as a young parrot, Caruso has adapted to captivity and has learned all he knows of love from his previous owner, who was obsessively fixated on his childhood sweetheart. Now in his new home with the beautiful and talented Clarissa, Caruso has found both love and happiness—until a handsome stranger arrives in town and sets his sights on Clarissa.
Smart, passionate, and wildly inventive, Caruso strives to put his human rival in his place before he loses Clarissa for good. And when a hurricane descends upon the coast, Caruso’s love for Clarissa and his memories of freedom are tested as the storm threatens all that he holds dear.
Set in the early 1990s in a quaint North Carolina seashore town, Love and Ordinary Creatures is an exquisite tale of the ways in which love and hope transcend species.
Packed with florid prose and a conspicuous attempt to illuminate the nature of love and the human condition, this novel by Hyman Rubio (Icy Sparks) falls flat. The protagonist,, a cockatoo named Caruso, is taken from Australia and ends up on the North Carolina coast, where he falls in love with Clarissa, his human caretaker. Conflicts include a rivalry with Clarissa's human love interest and a climactic hurricane. The story is often told second-hand to Caruso in the form of long, formal monologues, not just by one loquacious character but by every person the parrot meets. Although Rubio deserves credit for inventiveness, ultimately Caruso is unsympathetic, his view of love and of his owner as a female to be won and claimed having been shaped by a man who spent his entire life obsessing over unrequited love. As a reflection of humanity, Caruso is unconvincing, and, given the failure of the novel's blatant message there is not enough plot to hold the book together.