Skyward
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Skyward

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  865 ratings  ·  99 reviews
E.R. nurse Ella Majors has seen all the misery that she can handle. Burned-out and unsure of her next step, she accepts the temporary position as caregiver to Marion Henderson, a frightened five-year-old who suffers from juvenile diabetes. But Ella soon realizes there is more sorrow in the isolated home than the little girl’s illness can account for. Harris Henderson, a si...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Mira (first published July 1st 2003)
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Nelly
I'm sorry, Mary Alive Monroe, but were you trying to rewrite Jane Eyre? Because you didn't do a very good job. Honestly, the predictability of this book was ridiculous and 50 pages in I said, "Oh, she's trying to re-do Jane Eyre and is failing."

SPOILERS AHEAD

There is everything from the female protagonist coming to nanny for the male protagonist's 5 year old daughter, to them falling in love, to the lead male being married to a woman who's unavailable to him, to a fire caused by the wife, to b...more
Christina
I simply could not put Skyward down. The story moves along at just the right pace, all the while sneaking in tidbits of information about birds-of-prey that make you realize how truly amazing and majestic these birds are.

This romance novel manages to stray away from the soap opera-y tale it could have told solely because the three main characters, Ella, Harris, and Marion, are so believable. However, the return of the mother made me quiet angry, especially at Harris, because I believe his action...more
bookczuk
To me the magic of this book was not the story, as much as it was the birds and the South Carolina lowcountry. The story was, despite my history as a pediatric nurse, incidental. Btu reading of the raptors, now that was something!

I do admire Mary Alice Monroe's ability to capture our area and focus in on a habitat or a species or environment. She did it with Beach House and the turtles, too. And her characters seem very, very real to me. Not always clever or perfect or beautiful, but then again,...more
Kay
Predictable, but enjoyable reading. Loved learning about various predators in the intro to each chapter.
Natalya
Lovely atmosphere of a South Carolina natural preserve, complete with secluded world of a bird sanctuary and vivid characters who have their own struggles, stubbornness, diabetes... It rates three stars for its predictability and the fact that Lijah and Marion were the best characters, as the protagonists never really grew on me. A technical error hopefully has been corrected in later editions, as during a thunderstorm, characters count seconds between thunder and lightning, not the other way ar...more
Antof9
This was a very good book, but in all honesty not quite as good as The Beach House. It was just a bit too predictable. But I still enjoyed it. I loved Ella, and Marion, and the volunteers at the clinic. . . all good.

This is only the second Mary Alice Monroe book I've read, but I wonder if she isn't trying too hard to put "everything" into her books. This book had Brady, a young punk who turns his life around. The Beach House had a young pregnant girl. This one has, of course, the birds of prey a...more
Colleen
This book had several positive attributes. It was meant to be a light, romantic type of read and as such, it succeeded. It was set in South Carolina and the author conveyed a genuine feel for the area. The story revolved around characters who worked at a bird sanctuary and the author obviously did her homework on raptors. OK, that was the good stuff.

The not-so-good: well, the bird information was thorough and informative, but if you're not at all interested in birds, I think you're going to find...more
Deborah
Skyward, by Mary Alice Monroe, is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. I keep thinking about all that I learned about Raptors, while reading the plot of the book. Because it takes place at a raptor rehabilitation center, the reader naturally learns a lot about raptors (falcons, eagles, owls, osprey, and vultures, to name a few) as they follow the lives of the characters. It follows the life of Ella, a former nurse who has decided to move on after one too many deaths in a pedia...more
Staci
First thoughts after finishing this book: I want to work in a birds of prey sanctuary!

What I liked about the book:

The birds of prey aspect...about eight years ago I was on this big kick of becoming a falconer and training a Peregrine Falcon. I read up on the birds and all that went with training one. It is very extensive and not just a passing hobby. My husband talked me out of it due to our lifestyle and if you want to go on vacation there's no way you can with a falcon depending on you for hu...more
Rachel LaFranchi
Amazing story following a young girl with diabetes and her father. Ella, the nanny, was likeable from the moment you meet her to the tearful moments when Harris tells her he's married and she leaves the family. I was disappointed by the fire scene at the end -- it was too cliche and seemed like a cop out ending to kill the antagonist. Still, loveable characters in a fascinating world of birds that you want to be a part of, and a book you won't be able to put down.
Susan
This book was a nice surprise - much more interesting than the cover blurb made it sound. I'd give it 4.5 stars. While the story centered around human characters and their somewhat predictable relationships, the real "stars" of the book in my mind were the birds of prey that are described at the beginning of each chapter, and whose stories run through the narrative as they are rehabilitated from near death or abandonment, then set free. I loved the way the character-driven stories were seamlessl...more
Dee Dee
I loved this book. So many parallels between relationships, rescues, and rehabilitation of the spirit and body. For those not liking he book, they didn't look hard enough or know enough about nature to appreciate the talent of the author. So many things can be felt and this author did a wonderful job in bringing the words to life. Not a story to rush through.
Jodi
Apr 06, 2014 Jodi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women
Enjoyed this book - I was drawn into all the characters and kept reading to find out what would happen next. Absolutely HATED Fannie - what a horrible mother and I am so glad once she was out of the picture again! Also found the fact about how the turkey vultures cleaned up the battle fields at Gettysburg and now return there year after year. Gruesome but interesting fact!
Mary Jane Gibson
Excellent read

Enjoyed this book both for its entertainment quality as much as its educational benefits. Living on the eastern shore, I'm interested in the beautiful large raptors one sees here, but knew very little about. Thanks for another good book from this author.

Dale Harcombe
I enjoyed this book and was interested to read it after reading The Butterfly's Daughter and also The Beach House.The story involves nurse Ella who burnt out,takes on a job looking after a five year old child with juvenile diabetes and the interaction between her and Harris, the child's father and other members of the buird sanctuary. I liked the information about the birds added in but really it was the characters and the situation that kept me reading and wanting to read straight through. My o...more
Luisa
Nov 29, 2010 Luisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I read this book while visiting Tortuguero over Thanksgiving break. It was an entertaining, fast-moving book that I enjoyed reading. There were some interesting parallels between the book and my trip: the Gullah culture and the culture of the people living along the isolated section of Caribbean coast where I was seem to have some similarities; there was a huge downpour in Tortuguero that changed the course of my trip, and there was a rainstorm in the book that changed the course of the relation...more
Glenda Harris
One of my favorites. Love story with backdrop of the Center for Birds of Prey near Charleston, SC.
Teresa Schiltz
Excellent book about raptors in S.C. Perfect book for the nature lovers in S.C.
Dee Dee
What a wonderful book! Monroe makes beautiful parallels between relationships, rehabilitation, rescues and spiritual growth. If you read into the book you will see these windows into your own soul. What a lovely read. My new favorite author.
Claudia
Predictable, but very enjoyable. I liked reading about the raptors.
Hilary
A gentle tale, that circle and eddy like the slow current of a river, sweeping birds and children and adults together as they all learn from one another and grow.

If you like slow-moving stories of discovery, character and nature, this is the book for you. (If you're looking for something with a distinct plotline or something that's exciting, try something else and come back when you're in a more reflective mood.) Ideal for reading outside in the sun with a breeze rustling leaves nearby.
Jennifer
Loved it! When a burned-out ER nurse steps up to care for a five-year-old who was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes she finds more than she bargained for. Set among the beauty of the South Carolina coast, Ella reaches out to this single father and his daughter to find the bonds that will tie this family together. In this book, the author teaches us about the wild beauty of the birds-of-prey sanctuary and just how far one must sometimes go to rehabilitate the soul.
Amanda Artese
I like the characters, especially Ella. The story was nice but nothing special.
Allison
I picked this book up on a whim during a trip to Barnes and Noble. I was looking for a good book to take the to beach and Skyward did not disappoint. I loved the characters and the overall story. I also enjoyed the short blurbs about birds of prey that just seemed to fit which each chapter. Needless to say, I will definitely be picking up another Mary Alice Monroe novel.
Cindy
The fifth book I've read by this author. I really enjoy her writing. Not great stuff, but i care about the characters. This one involves a love story between a burned out pediatric ER nurse and a father of a 6 year old diabetic. He runs a bird of prey rescue center in south Carolina, so you learn a bit about raptors. A wonderful character named Lyah is an old visdom dispensing griot of the Gullah/Geechee people of the S. Carolina Islands.
Heather
The bird rescue element was good and I liked the subplot of the at-risk teenager. The best part was probably the character of the old man taking care of "his" bird, but the attempt at a romance plot was pretty bad-very predictable and formulaic.
Kathleen
I am in the middle of reading all of this author's books so be prepared. I like the South Carolina settings of her books, the naturalist themes and the range of characters in her books. A bit of the character's behaviors were too pat in the end, but nevertheless, the connections between humans and the environment made the book a good read.
Jeanne
I liked it but didn't love it.
Sarah
This book was to wrapped up in the birds. I wanted to slap the main male character throughout the book. I personally think the book would have been a lot better if the author would have spent more time on the relationship between the people in the books instead of the relationship between the birds and the people.
Kristi
Harris helps injured birds along the South Carolina coast at a rehabilitation center and to help him take care of his diabetic son, he enlists the aid of nurse and nanny, Ella. Through their time together, romance develops. Human relationships are juxtaposed with birds, to create a riveting story.

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New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textur...more
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