In his debut novel, Brian Kimberling uses a fictional narrative to relay the story of a bird researcher from Indiana. The narrator, Nathan Lochmueller is a young man who observes birds and others with humor and some wisdom; but mostly a kind of adolescent charm.
Kimberling’s writing is wonderful. His knowledge of bird watching really shines and this author knows how to tell a good story. The mesh of nature and humans work well here.
“I knew every tree, ravine, raccoon lair, fox den, and deer run within my square mile. I knew the local humans only by reputation, and I would have preferred to keep it that way: that reputation was one of armed service in the cause of white supremacy.”
The main character reminds me of myself and others who, in our early twenties, failed to see good in their home towns or states. Even though Nathan is narrating, the reader can’t help but see the charm and goodness. We also know that eventually, Nathan will see it too.
4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013