Melissa's Reviews > A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
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's review
Jun 03, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: j-fiction, newbery-11, read2010
Read in June, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I'm not sure my review is fair, since I'm basing my rating on my expectations not being fulfilled as opposed to what is actually in the book, but after the cat killed one of the rats and the apprentice was almost killed by gunshot, I was ready for a bigger emotional climax than a couple of friends leaving town.

I thought a couple of things: that the finch or the osprey was going to die at Audubon's hands, and that the suffering-for-art theme would be more fully developed somehow as a result. Instead everyone lives (except the rat), Audubon tries drawing from live birds instead of dead ones, and we wound up with a much more gentle "old friends may leave us but we can always sit on the cozy furniture of the beautiful dollhouse and have tea with our new friends" finish. It felt a little anticlimactic to me.

I need to remember that it might not feel that way to younger readers, but then if that is the desired tone, why do we have so much graphic and realistic violence throughout the book?

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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John I hope you like it.

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa She just climbed the bannister to the second floor!

Tara I understand your reaction. I had some initial shock at the violence too - but it's a natural type violence I think is considered healthy these days. It's okay if animals die, even if they can talk. I'm not sure I agree, but I don't want to candy coat everything for kids either. Did you read The Night Fairy? I felt these two were similar.

Melissa Tara, thanks for your comments! I didn't mind the violence, actually, what I felt was that the ending was too gentle for the rest of the book. I felt like I were being set up for a bigger finish than I got. I did read Night Fairy, and probably liked it a little better than Celeste, because it felt a more seamless to me.

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