Her mother is an addict, her father is a mystery, and her safe space is the shabby little diner where the man with the dirty hands eats dessert. Bird has a gift, like every winged creature before her, she has been graced with the ability to find the sun. As flocks are drawn south, so too is Bird Mitena drawn to hope, even when her whole world is falling apart around her. Her mother thinks Bird is her salvation, yet treats her with cruelty. Bird wants to see her mother redeemed, but at what cost? Her dream is to leave behind the town that forgot about her; but how can anyone fly away if their wings have been clipped?
Alanna lives on a small patch of untamable land in southwestern Ontario, with her three children, husband, and their vintage van. Alanna has been saturated in classic Canadian fiction since she was a young child and has been passionate about words for nearly as long, stubbornly holding to the dream of someday spinning her own tales. Now, when evening falls, she tucks herself into her self-made study and writes stories about people: some real, some who just take up space in her head.
The Hard side of Life Beautifully Crafted Lyrical descriptions drive the plot and deepen our understanding of the characters. Every phrase is carefully crafted. A character reaches up from the bottom of life and survives, helped by others, through her sadness and hate to find out life is worth living.