The New York Times Bestseller
From the acclaimed author of Garden Spells comes an enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.
Down a narrow alley in the small coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina, lies a stunning cobblestone building comprised of five apartments. It’s called The Dellawisp and it is named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.
When Zoey Hennessey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp, she meets her quirky, enigmatic neighbors including a girl on the run, a grieving chef whose comfort food does not comfort him, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.
When one of her new neighbors dies under odd circumstances the night Zoey arrives, she is thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp, which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. She soon discovers that many unfinished stories permeate the place, and the people around her are in as much need of healing from wrongs of the past as she is. To find their way they have to learn how to trust each other, confront their deepest fears, and let go of what haunts them.
Delightful and atmospheric, Other Birds is filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go. Sarah Addison Allen shows us that between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.
In Allen's charming latest (after First Frost), a motley cast inhabit a condo building on a South Carolina island. Recent high school graduate Zoey Hennessey leaves behind her father and stepmother in Tulsa, Okla., to spend the summer in her deceased mother's apartment in the Dellawisp, named after the birds who stalk the residents. There, Zoey is disappointed to find little in the way of clues about the life of her late Cuban immigrant mother, Paloma Fernandez Hennessey, but she does encounter a cast of intriguing and quirky neighbors, including Charlotte, a henna artist raised in a cult who is at first reluctant to become Zoey's friend and hides a major secret. Lizbeth Lime, a hoarder killed by a falling bookshelf on Zoey's first night at the condo, providing an impetus for the plot as Zoey is hired by the manager to clear out Lizbeth's apartment, then gets help from Charlotte. Allen skillfully weaves the various threads, as vignettes narrated by ghosts of former building residents provide further context as the plot unfurls, shedding light on the mysterious birds and absent figures such as Lizbeth's estranged son and her reclusive sister. This will move readers.
This was a very good read. It had likable characters, each with their own story waiting to be told. It took place on Mallow Island which you will want to visit, if only to meet the birds. Oh! And the ghosts. Easy reading, a feel good book. I recommend it as a vacation for our busy minds, as a way to unwind and appreciating the joy of curling up with a good book. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I loved every page of this book! The way the story intricately wove each character’s story together was amazing!
I hope there’s a sequel! These characters deserve to live on.