TBML's Reviews > Before Women Had Wings

Before Women Had Wings by Connie May Fowler
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Jul 22, 2009

really liked it
Read in July, 2005

This was the Branigan BookClub selection for July 2005.

As an avid birder, I have always thrilled at the sight of an avocet. I suppose that that was always in the back of my mind as I read BEFORE WOMEN HAD WINGS. Fowler makes Avocet Jackson, or "Bird" as her mother calls her, fragile yet resilient, small and delicate, but tough and tenacious, just as I have always regarded the bird she is named after. That particular combination of characteristics endears her to me.

Very early in the book, we learn that Bird has a crush on Jesus and no shortage of exceedingly pronounced opinions on a staggeringly vast array of subjects. As we follow her through the book, she grows and despite the less than ideal circumstances of her childhood, flourishes. By the end, she has outgrown her Jesus crush, some of her opinions have changed and she has truly developed sturdy psychological wings that (yes, at heart, I am an optimist)will stand her in good stead the rest of her life.

A great book! Fowler has given us, in Avocet, another strong female character that we instinctively root for. She can take her place along side such others as Roald Dahl's Matilda, Beverly Cleary's Ramona, Erica Spindler's Kitt Lundgren, Lisa Tucker's Dorothea, Betty Smith's Francie Nolan and a whole host more.
--Mark Pendleton

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