by Sarah Addison Allen
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Pub Date 30 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 21 Dec 2022
The New York Times Bestseller
From the acclaimed author of Garden Spells comes an enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.
Down a narrow alley in the small coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina, lies a stunning cobblestone building comprised of five apartments. It’s called The Dellawisp and it is named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.
When Zoey Hennessey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp, she meets her quirky, enigmatic neighbors including a girl on the run, a grieving chef whose comfort food does not comfort him, two estranged middle-aged sisters, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.
When one of her new neighbors dies under odd circumstances the night Zoey arrives, she is thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp, which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. She soon discovers that many unfinished stories permeate the place, and the people around her are in as much need of healing from wrongs of the past as she is. To find their way they have to learn how to trust each other, confront their deepest fears, and let go of what haunts them.
Delightful and atmospheric, Other Birds is filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go. Sarah Addison Allen shows us that between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 789 members
Reading this book felt like getting a gentle yet solid hug. Zoey's moves away for her first year of college. She moves into the apartment her mom got in the divorce. From there, it's a matter of meeting the neighbors and learning about all of their lives. And my word, those are interesting neighbors. Each character's backstory unfolds carefully, like they are slowly opening up and letting us get to know them. You want to be friends with these people, eventually. They each have a trauma they have survived, and they will each be stronger for knowing each other. It's so beautiful and uplifting. It's the kind of book you wish you could read again for the first time as soon as you finish it.
This is a story of connections of both family and friends- which bonds hold tighter and which are the hardest to let go of. While there are little magical bits here and there, this story is probably the most grounded in reality that I've read from this author. It's as if she's saying, sometimes there can't be an easy quick fix to get through pain or heartache.
This was my first Sarah Addison Allen Book, and it won't be my last. There was so much I enjoyed about this book. I really liked that stories and secrets revealed themselves throughout the book. And I really liked the overall feel of the book. I felt like I was a part of their world. I do wish there was more back story on Paloma. I have questions! But, all in all, I loved spending time with these characters and was sorry for it to end. I will miss them.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I devoured this book. To be fair, I love the author and read anything I can that's written by her. She's amazing. But, this book is amazing all on its own. It's such a beautiful story. I loved hearing about the stories of the different people living in the housing complex. I live in Charleston, so I know the magic of the Low Country. This book captured all of that magic. I can imagine the dellawisps and the ghosts flickering around. The writing was so well done. I would read this book over and over again.
Well, this author is one of my top three favorites so it’s no surprise that I am in love with this new story. Filled with heart and magic! Zoey’s journey sucks you in and doesn’t let go till the last page. Reminds me so much of Alice Hoffman but not as dark. Little treasures like the birds that hang out by the apartments and loved ones who have passed but stick around for a bit. Just an amazing fairytale!
A long awaited next novel and it has the same magic and beautiful characters of her other books. Allen stopped publishing while caring for her mom,and how story definitely is a bit of a love letter. I really enjoyed the story.
Zoey moves to charming Mallow Island hoping to learn about her mother, but finds strange little birds and quirky neighbors with secrets instead.
This book is a touching tale of found family and self-discovery. I loved every moment of it. It is contemporary fiction, but with a dash of the paranormal and a smattering of mysteries throughout. The little twists in the second half were excellent! I would recommend this to anyone who has ever struggled with self-acceptance, belonging, grief, and/or self-worth. It really is a beautiful book!
Even though I KNOW it doesn’t exist, I found myself googling Mallow Island just to be SURE sure that such a magical place wasn’t hidden in real life. I am a sucker for found family tropes, and the setting of this one in particular made it extra dreamy. Who wouldn’t want to live at The Dellawisp?! The “other birds” theme and the very last chapter will stay with me for a long time. Please read this book and let me know your thoughts!
Thank you to Sarah Addison Allen, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Before heading to college, Zoey moves to The Dellawisp in South Carolina, moving into the apartment that belonged to her deceased mother. In a very short time, Zoey makes friends with a few of the quirky neighbors and begins to build bonds. Throw in a few ghosts, an imaginary bird, a famous author and lots of family secrets and you have a wonderful Sarah Addison Allen book. So happy to see a new title from this author! Fans won't be disappointed.
Other Birds is my first experience with Sarah Addison Allen and I have a new author I adore. Other Birds introduces us to Zoey. The summer before she starts college she takes possession of her late mother's apartment in Mallow Island. It is there, at the Dellawisp, she meets her forever family. That is something she hasn't had since her mom passed away. Zoey falls in love with the quaint tow and the others who live in the complex with her. She helps them in a sense face their past and let go, preparing them to move forward in their future.
Other Birds was such a fascinating read about families and hanging on to the past, paralyzing our futures. Allen writing reads like a best friend telling you a story. You won't ever want her story to stop. I will definitely be looking for other works by Sarah Addison Allen and will be telling all my reading friends about Allen as well. Special Thanks to NetGalley, Sarah Addison Allen, and St. Martin's Press for the advance digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 5 stars for me
I really REALLY loved this book, and I honestly had my doubts after seeing such high praise. It deserves every bit of it. Hooked me from page one and kept me hooked the whole time!
In Allen fashion, this new novel delivers struggle, chosen family, magic, and a little romance.
Each character has mother issues and together they create a safe space to heal.
I loved Sarah Addison Allen's Sugar Queen, Garden Spells, and The Peach Keeper. They're the first three books on the shelves of my home library. I was so excited to receive a copy of Other Birds, Allen's latest novel. I was not disappointed. I'm a huge fan of magical realism, with Alice Hoffman being my gold standard. Sarah Addison Allen's Other Birds gives Hoffman a run for her money. I was hooked by the quirky characters and the unusual u-shaped converted stables that they live in. The ghosts added a wonderful layer to the story, giving the reader insight into the living. I thought about this novel long after it ended.
Other Birds was a magical book. It seemed a bit different from the author's previous stories. This story was well thought out and all the characters (the likeable and unlikable) were all well developed.
A close friend introduced Sarah Addison Allen to me years ago, and I fell in love with her strong female characters sprinkled with magic and poetic, almost ethereal, prose. It has been a long time between novels so when I came across a chance to review “Other Birds,” I felt as if I had won the lottery.
The novel opens as Zoey (with an empty bird cage housing Pigeon—don’t worry, you will figure it out) arrives in Mallow Island to live in her deceased mother’s studio as she waits to start college in the fall. Zoey’s anxious for any connection to her mother whose loss she is still mourning. As Zoey gets situated, she (and the reader) meet a delightful assortment of characters (and ghosts) in a tender story about loss, acceptance, and survival. This is one of those novels that you pause in amazement just to enjoy some of the descriptions and whimseys of delight. Usually, I am not crazy when a story switches between so many point of views but I enjoyed the voices of these unique (and in some cases, otherworldly) individuals.
It was difficult not to eat this book up since I’d been waiting for it for so long for it, but this was definitely a treat to savor. Whether you have been anticipating her next read or are new to the author, you will fall in love with Zoey and Co.
Thank you Sarah Addison Allen, Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to give this an early read.
Wow - I have waited a long time for a new Sarah Addison Allen book. It was worth the wait! Her words about this eclectic group of people and how they come together is perfect. A touching story of how love and acceptance makes the world a better place. I won’t look at a bird the same way without wondering their story. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. Best book I’ve read this year
It's been a good long while since I last read a book by Sarah Addison Allen. I'm glad I picked this one up. Slow, intricate, and beautifully written, this is a tale of healing, family, and community. It reinforces the lasting power of love through such atmospheric writing (I feel this book is best read in the summer, it just gives off that vibe) and magic realism. It's easy to see why Allen is such a master when it comes to these themes. Truly something anyone would want to have in their collection.
I was so very excited to get my hands on Ms. Allen's newest book, "Other Birds", having sorely missed her work for some time. (I have read her entire back-list some 8 or 9 years ago). Like many of us, the author has been through some things in that time, so this book is a bit darker & different from her earlier works - there is a palpable sense of grief interwoven throughout. But the stories of the residents of the Dellawisp condo's are worth learning, they are flawed characters who come together in the best of ways. I loved young Zoey, and Mac, the chef, best - but they're all interesting, if a bit broken, creatures. Speaking of creatures - the birds interwoven thought was creative & a great plot device. Recommend strongly to most all readers - be aware however, this book is a bit different than her other stories & there are a few trigger warnings (abuse mostly). My sincere thanks to the publisher, author and Net Galley for the complimentary DRC, the exchange of which did not effect my opinions.
This magical book was worth waiting for! People aren’t always what they seem and sometimes that’s a good thing. Feel good book that I highly recommend preordering! 💜
When I first started reading this book, I was a little perplexed as the usual charm that I had come to expect from Ms Allen’s writing wasn’t evident.
I should have realized that the last few years have changed everyone and everything - even Ms Allen’s writing.
But like all things that transform because of grief, the original isn’t gone - it never could be. Love remains eternally. It may not produce the easily identifiable physical proof it once did, but it still provides proof if you have the eyes and ears to perceive it.
This may be the most intimate book that Sarah has ever written. It softly and slowly curls into the cracks that are in your heart.
This is the best novel that Sarah has ever written, in my opinion. The perfect subtlety and insistent gentleness is nothing short of a masterpiece. Bravo Sarah. Thank you for taking us on your journey.
"Not everything has to be real to be true."
Ugh, this beautiful, whimsical, heartbreaking, heart-building book. It reminded me a lot of Pat Conroy, with the Low Country setting and the way Sarah Addison Allen explores issues of family trauma, but minus the sometimes gratuitous descriptions of violence and exorbitant page count. So many things about this story - the island, the book that is a central part of the character's conversations, the characters themselves - are not real, but they are SO very true in all the ways that really matter. There are many separate narratives taking place here, but Allen does a masterful job of weaving them together in a way that feels serendipitous, never cluttered. I will be purchasing this book when it releases so that I can read & re-read over and over.
*Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martins Press for this complimentary advance copy of "Other Birds", which has a current release date of September 13th, 2022*