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Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Bird Flew Away by Lynda M. Martin AND Interview!

This book counts toward the following challenges:


This Bird Flew Away (Bria Connelly, #1)
By Lynda M. Martin
Publisher: Black Rose Writing, 2010
312 pages, Google Docs & Kindle Edition
Date Finished: 9/4/2011
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age, Some Action, Mature Teen, Some Romance, Serious Issues
What is real love? The whole world wants to know. They should ask Bria Jean, because she has it all figured out. Opinionated, stubborn and full of woe, Bria would tell you real love is having one person you can always count on through thick and thin. For her, that's Jack. And it doesn't matter to her that she's nine and he's twenty-three-not one bit. When, at the age of twelve, Bria disappears, he and his Aunt Mary search for her, and when she surfaces, injured, abused and traumatized, Jack fights to become her guardian with no idea of the trials ahead of him. By then, Bria is thirteen going on thirty, full of her own ideas on how her life should run and with some very fixed notions about who is in charge.
~First Line: "According to Auntie Peg, if you couldn't hear my voice then I must have my nose in a book."
~Last Line: " 'Uhm. . .how are you?' "

Review: First off, let me say that I really want a physical copy of this novel. It was intriguingly appealing.

Our main character was the intersting Bria Jean Connelly. At first it took me a few chapters to really get unto thinking in her point of view, but the farther along I got the better the book was. Then something terrible happens (well, a lot of bad things happened, but what I found worst was...).

Bria Jean runs away from her aunt and uncle's house after having to defend herself from being abused. She tries to reach her other aunt's house on her own, and when she is somewhat close, she runs into an old acquaintance. Then he gets durnk, she gets sold, and poor Bria Jean gets raped.

That was the hardest part of the book for me. It broke my heart right in two to know that things like that happen everyday all over the world. But to have it happening and seem so close to home (it's written in first person), it made my cry.

However, this novel is not just terrible happenings. Bria has a love for rodeos. I find that aspect of Bria's personality truly amazing. I've always wanted to ride a horse, so I'm glad that Martin is letting me live my dream through one of her well-thought out characters.

Bria Jean honestly did have a hard life. I mean, sometimes I could sort of relate, but other times I couldn't, but still wasn't completely lost. She helped me figure out some things not to do, though. I wish I could tell you; you probably wouldn't even believe me, but ... OMG. It's just so big. It hit me hard smackdab in the forehead because I could possibly be in her position one day... Not gonna give it away, though :).

This book is definitely superb, and y'all should take the time out to read it if you have the chance!

Colorful Animated Butterfly Pictures, Images and PhotosColorful Animated Butterfly Pictures, Images and PhotosColorful Animated Butterfly Pictures, Images and PhotosColorful Animated Butterfly Pictures, Images and Photos and a half :)


1. What gave you the inspiration for This Bird Flew Away?

The inspiration for the novel came from two sources, my case files and my distress of how survivors of childhood abuse were portrayed in the popular media. I refer to such programming as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which gives such a distorted view, it is downright creepy – damaged, neurotic, psychotic, suicidal, ruined people. The truth is most survivors do put the trauma behind them and go on to live fruitful, productive lives. Not that they don’t carry scars; they do. I wanted to show reality as I know it: the conditions that leave children vulnerable, the road to healing, the power of family (no matter how unorthodox) and love that keep us together, a portrait of optimism, full of tenderness and humor. Dark subject matter does not always make for a dark story.

2. As a child, when asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, did you ever respond with "an author"?

Even as a child as young as seven or eight, I was writing stories and making my own little books, complete with illustrations. I’d sew them up on one side with yarn and pass them out to my friends. Perhaps, I should have become a publisher. But no, I would never have answered “an author,” because my father made it clear to me that writing was fine as a private vocation, but not as one on which to build a financial future. As I result of this advice, I studied finance and business administration. Was he right?

3. Can we expect more novels from you anytime soon?

Yes! The sequel to This Bird Flew Away, with a working title of Fly High; Fly Blind, is currently in edit and revision, and the third in the series, Finding Emily, is in draft and growing.

4. What are some of your favorite pastimes when you're not writing?

I read voraciously. I like to putter in my garden, cook, spend time with people and daydream (the source for most of my writing.) I work part time caring for seniors in their own homes and love that, spending time with these wonderful people who’ve lived for so long, hearing their stories, giving them companionship and helping them avoid life in a nursing home.

5. Can you name a few books that you would recommend to us?

You mean aside from my own? My favorite books would include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, Moll Flanders (in fact any good historical fiction, particularly the work of Phillipa Gregory,) Circle of Friends; the list is endless. I recently enjoyed The Cotton Queen, Peace Like a River and The Harmony Silk Factory and am currently reading The Book Thief.

6. What do you always make sure you have when you get ready to write?

Inner peace, all my chores done, a pot of coffee and a full pack of cigarettes (yes, I know – BAD!)
Thank you SO much to Ms. Martin for doing the interview! I really appreciate it :). Thank you also to Majanka for starting this whole Book Tour "organization," so to speak. I'm really glad you emailed me about it! :D Happy Reading to everyone!,
Zakiya LadyWings


lmmartin said...

Thank you, Zakiya LadyWings, for this review of my novel. I am so pleased to have a review from a young adult reader, as mature-minded girls were definitely part of my target audience. My granddaughter, then sixteen, played a strong role in developing Bria's voice and character, and she shared the not-quite-polished manuscript with many of her friends, some of whom wrote to me with their responses and reviews. What happened to Bria happens to hundreds of thousands of girls from as young as 11, every year, so this is a story to learn from, I think. So glad you enjoyed the rodeo -- that comes from my own wild youth. Thank you for the kind rating. Four and a half butterflies. Wow! And please do contact me with your mailing address so I can fulfill your desire to have a real-life printed copy. My pleasure. Lynda M Martin

Anonymous said...

Hi Butterflylady, I'm fifteen and my mom gave me her copy to read and said we'd talk about the book together. Like you I cried over what happened to Bria, but then I saw how she worked hard to get over it. I just loved Jack and felt bad for him that he got so mixed up. Mary was like any other mother who didn't want to see Bria was growing. Like she didn't want to lose control. I'm glad to find your book blog. It's nice to see someone our age reviewing books, and even nicer you take on what some might think as adult books. I also think this is a good book for girls. Like my mom said, it's important to know what goes on in the world. Yours truly, Faith

Zakiya LadyWings said...

Lynda: It was a pleasure reading it! :D

Faith: I'm glad that you, too, have read this! I agree with you about all of the characters. Hope you stop by often! :P


Gina @ My Precious said...

Wow! This book sounds awesome, but very dark. What a difficult subject to write about. You did a fantastic job of writing up this review - it convinced me I probably would enjoy this book, but I have to be in the right mood to want to tackle it.

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