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692 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published April 1, 1977
I would give this all the stars in the sky if I could. This was simply the best book I've ever read..
There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain.... Or so says the legend.
"There are no ambitions noble enough to justify breaking someone's heart."
"Perfection in anything is unbearably dull. Myself, I prefer a touch of imperfection."
- Mary Carson