Judith's Reviews > The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
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's review

really liked it
bookshelves: adult-fiction-book-club

The first epigraph in The Yellow Birds is
A yellow bird with a yellow bill
Was sittin' on my window sill
I lured him in with a piece of bread
And then I smashed his fucking head

The rest of the novel is no less brutal. Kevin Powers, an Iraq War veteran knows that of which he writes. Private Bartle (21) and Private Murphy (18)are fighting in Anbar Province, where unlike in their grandfather's war, they fight the same battles over and over, year over year. Battle seasoned Sargent Sterling (27) knows enough to know who has what it takes to stay alive and what it doesn't. The Yellow Birds zooms in both on the brutality of war and on the tragedy of returning home broken. Powers' prose (he was an MFA in poetry) felt a little ornate for the story it was telling and I occasionally got bogged down in the writing, but I felt emotianally closer to the war in reading this book than I ever had before.

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