“For Gertrude, summer erupted. She could hear it rustling and rocking along, every inch of the block a blast of color or noise or movement, the grass hollering and the bugs screeching. Every pale leaf waving about.”
Gertrude, is one of several unique individuals in Hibbing native Kathleen Novak’s Rare Birds. While she is aware of nearly everything going on around her, not even middle-aged Gertrude, living with her older caregiver, can predict the events that will transpire in her Iron Range neighborhood over the week beginning on Monday, June 6, 1960.
This isn’t a fast paced novel, by any means. It is much like a lazy week in summer: People are going about their business, unaware of what their neighbor’s are experiencing. There are surprises in store for all, from a young man who thinks he is tough to a middle aged woman waiting for her lover, and from the little girls exploring their world to Gertrude herself.
Anyone raised in a small town or in a tightly knit neighborhood will see something of themselves in Novak’s beautifully developed characters. Those raised in this area will wonder if the character they just met might be one of their old neighbors. Many readers will wish that they could go back to what appears to have been a slower and simpler time, while others will be thankful that they lived through it.
Join us at the library to discuss Rare Birds on Tuesday, February 26, at noon.
Meet the author at the library on Thursday, February 28, at noon.
Books are available for purchase at the library, with all proceeds going to benefit the Friends of the Library in their support of library events.