A spectacularly vibrant, original debut, The Lovebird takes us from the orange-scented streets of Southern California to the vast prairie landscape of Montana, and introduces us to Margie Fitzgerald, a spirited and unforgettable heroine for our times.
Margie has always had a soft spot for helpless creatures. Her warm heart breaks, her left ovary twinges, and she is smitten with sympathy. This is how she falls in love with Simon Mellinkoff, her charismatic, obviously troubled Latin professor. As the two embark on an unconventional romance, Simon introduces Margie to his small coterie of animal rights activists, and with this ragtag group she finds her apparent mission in life. But Margie’s increasingly reckless and dangerous actions force her to flee her California college town, say goodbye to her fragile dad, and seek shelter on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Here, against a backdrop of endless grass and sky, Margie meets a soap opera-loving grandmother, an intriguing, ink-splattered man, and an inscrutable eleven-year-old girl—and makes unexpected discoveries about her heart.
Suffused with humor and compassion, The Lovebird is a radiant novel about one young woman’s love of animals, yearning for connection, and search for her place in this world.
"Do you have any friends?" Latin professor Simon Mellinkoff asks 18-year-old Margie Fitzgerald in Brown's debut novel, to which Margie knowingly demurs. Describing herself as shy and "Always Alone," Margie has never known her mother who died in childbirth, was not close to her father, and is distanced from her classmates. But she soon falls in love with Simon and Margie begins to follow him in his advocacy for animal rights. When he introduces her to Operation H.E.A.R.T. (Humans Encouraging Animal Rights Today), Margie feels she's finally found a place where she belongs. After an incident which results in the FBI labeling her as a threat, Margie is forced to go into hiding. She is sent to live on the prairies of Montana in a Native American Reservation with the Crow tribe, and she must leave behind the only people she could now call friends. Although Margie's personality comes off as timid and indecisive, Brown is able to get readers empathizing with her during bouts of loneliness as well as caught up in her passion for what she believes is the right thing to do.