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The Wingless Bird

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  552 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews

Even the approach of Christmas, 1913, fails to excite the restless Agnes Conway, the twenty-two-year-old manager of her feckless father's adjoining sweet and tobacconist shops.There are dark secrets in Arthur Conway's past, and these come tragically to light when Agnes's younger sister becomes pregnant by one of the notorious Felton brothers.And Agnes herself has a secret,

Hardcover, 383 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Summit Books (first published September 1st 1990)
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Sep 21, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Wanda
.From IMDb:
On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a good boy from a family of dockside toughs. Is she strong enough to break them again when Charles Farrier, a gentleman, courts her over his parents' opposition? Agnes faces an added dilemma when she finds her heart divided between Charles and his soldier brother Reginald.

The movie is available at You
Nov 14, 2008 Barbra rated it really liked it
This is one of her best books - riveting and a page turner.

Back Cover Blurb:
Agnes Conway has had to put up with a violent father, who owns adjoining sweet and tobacconist shops; a mother who doesn't care and a flighty sister who becomes pregnant by one of the notorious Felton brothers. Although Agnes still loves them all she spends her time working in the family shop hoping for a life of her own.
Then all at once she discovers that things are not right with her family, her parents hate each other
Jun 22, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
As in most of Cookson's books she writes with strong female characters overcoming some miserable circumstance or misfortune. I also love the English accents given her characters. If you like books set in old England and well developed characters, you will enjoy books by Catherine Cookson!
Eletta0925 Fouche
Jan 16, 2016 Eletta0925 Fouche rated it it was amazing
Another re-read. Nothing better than revisiting a good book!

Saw this movie on Netflix and although it was a good movie, I felt I was missing some I information that was vital to the plot. As usual the book delivered what some many movies fail to capture. Well worth the read for the hopeful romantic types.
Nov 24, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Set during and after the First World War, this was a touching and entertaining story with both romance and tragedy. I especially really liked Agnes' character. A very enjoyable read.
Oct 16, 2016 Janci rated it liked it
Did not care for Agnes all that much. "He's in my house so I get to decide." What's up with that? Plus, it seemed some of the minor characters were inconsistent.
Joy H.
Jan 03, 2012 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only
Added 1/4/12.
I did not read this book but I streamed the movie adaptation via Netflix:
"The Wingless Bird" (TV mini-series 1997)
One of the user reviews at IMDb sums it up nicely:
"This is typical Cookson territory, really. There's high drama, attempted murders, disgrace, scandal, and a swathe of upper class snooty horrors...

"'The Wingless Bird' is engrossing, if predictable, far
May 20, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
"The Wingless Bird" is a typical gothic romance of the 1990s with a downtrodden female who is more intelligent and beautiful than the other women and who must make her way through the change in class and circumstances. But, it is also a fascinating look at the changes in England that took place because of World War I. Some of the plot is predictable, but much of it is compelling. Overall, it was a good book, just not great. A very clean read.
May 16, 2013 Lynda rated it liked it
I liked the style of writing and the use of the war and its effects on everyone. I liked the strong character of Agnes and her determination through the book. Her acceptance of her social standing and to never waiver was admirable. I especially enjoyed the outstanding epilogue because it seemed to complete the characters' journey and made me smile.
Apr 10, 2015 Sandra rated it liked it
Again this is years ago since I heard this but I do remember that its another light and comfortable read. It starts out in 1913 but as you can tell with the war things soon turn dark, however it has a happy enough ending. I think Catherine Cookson has an easy reading style and a way of making her characters likeable as to ensure that you keep turning the pages until you are done.
May 18, 2012 Lili rated it liked it
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Oct 11, 2009 Ariella rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading Catherine Cookson on my trips to the US. Her books are "light" but not trash. She deals alot with class issues in England. her books have very dramatic elements which remind me of the heavy "Romances" (ex in this book the heroine's father shot her in the arm)but again, they are welldone and not mindless. In fact i enjoy a good Catherine Cookson book every now and then.
Dec 11, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
This is the story of Agnes Conway and her escape from a humdrum life in to a life of unexpected love. I have to say that although Catherine Cookson can be relied upon for good plots, she is somewhat repetitive in her phrasing and language style. I give this story a B+!
Penny Kettlewell

I enjoy all of CC's writings, but especially this one as she makes one actually care about her characters as she weaves her historically correct stories with humor + wisdom.
Jul 28, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, novel
A beautifully written story about a young woman who manages her fathers adjoining sweet & tobacco shops in the early 1900's. The town is small and the area they live and work is poor but filled with the rich details as only Catherine Cookson can bring to life.
Katie Q
Jun 04, 2014 Katie Q rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I really enjoyed this story. After reading so many of Cookson's books and whilst enjoying them I felt they were rather bleak. This book was so much more upbeat and positive. A good holiday read too.
Pat rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2010
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Aug 06, 2015
Billie rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2012
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Aug 09, 2015
Arielle rated it it was ok
Nov 09, 2012
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Jul 27, 2014
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Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2014
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Stephanie Mason rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2010
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Wendy Walker rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2012
Becky rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2015
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby
More about Catherine Cookson...

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