ebook, 228 pages
In this debut novel, 33-year-old Addie Lockwood bears and surrenders for adoption a son, her only child, without telling his father, little imagining how the secret will shape their lives. Through letters and spare, precisely observed vignettes, Byrd explores a birth mother’s coming to make and live with the most difficult, intimate, and far-reaching of choices.
Byrd by Kim Church is a very highly recommended novel that explores the feelings of Addie, the birth mother of Byrd, and how her decision to give him up for adoption shapes her life.
Church has given us an amazing gift with her novel Bryd. She provides us with keen insight into Addie's thoughts as we follow her through her choices and her life. Addie's story is told through reflection and letter which Addie is writing to Byrd to tell the story of her life and his beginning. Although part of the life of the birth father, Roland, is also explored, this is definitely Addie's life story as she tells it to Byrd, the son she gave up for adoption.
Byrd showcases excellent writing on Church's part. Her ability to capture a person's inner voice is credible and makes Addie feel like a woman you know who has had to make difficult decisions in her life and has lived with the consequences of her choices. Church endows Addie with complex emotions. She manages to simultaneously capture Addie's lowered expectations of a stunted career choice with the struggle to make sense of her life choices and the path she is following.
This is a real character study of one woman's life. But it is a multifaceted and brilliantly layered story of how her choices affected her life. For how much I loved this novel, I'm finding it a struggle to fully express why I loved it so much. Perhaps because it felt like it truly captured someone's inner life and Addie feels like a real person, someone I know.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Dzanc Book via Netgalley for review purposes.