Review: The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

aviaryHow could you not be intrigued by this cover? Simple, yet creepy, depending on your opinion of birds, I suppose. Birds freak me out. I got crapped on when I was a young girl, and I’ve never forgiven the entire species. I get highly nervous when there’s a flock of birds hanging about. Even more so when they are in flight above my head.

The Aviary is, indeed, a children’s book. Probably suitable for a 11-13 year old to read. The main character is a girl, so for that reason, it’s going to appeal more to girls. However, the story is interesting enough that I think a boy might enjoy it, as well. Clara has been confined to the Glendoveer mansion her entire life, due to what her mother defines as a heart condition. She, her mother, and housekeeper Ruby, look after the elderly matron of the Glendoveer family. And their birds. Five of them. Clara is slightly afraid of the birds, because they are noisy and ancient and generally not friendly. Until one day … one of them speaks: “Elliot.” This sparks off a mystery that Clara uncovers little by little.

Told with such charm and precision, The Aviary was truly a delight to read. Although I figured out some plot twists a few steps ahead of the game, I think an age-appropriate reader will be surprised at some of the revelations. There’s also some extra explanation that as an adult, I found unnecessary, but a younger reader may need in order to understand the plot.

I was sad to see this one come to an end. This is definitely a stand-alone novel, no chance of there being a series (as far as I can tell). Definitely glad I picked it up and gave it a try.

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