ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY

North & South - - Photo Essay - STACEY ANYAN

CHAR­LIE JANE AN­DERS (TI­TAN BOOKS, $21.99)

On the third page, when an in­jured bird started speak­ing to a child, this book was nearly hiffed across the room. But Michael Chabon had called this de­but novel “daz­zling… pro­found… won­drous”, and I loved his novel The Amaz­ing Ad­ven­tures of Kava­lier & Clay, so I per­sisted. For­tu­nately the rea­son for Chabon’s ef­fu­sive en­dorse­ment be­came clear once the ac­tion got un­der way. Dur­ing the bird res­cue, six-year-old Pa­tri­cia learns she’s a witch who can fly and, yes, talk to an­i­mals. At col­lege, she bonds with sci­ence lover Lau­rence, who’s fig­ured out how to time travel. They sur­vive be­ing os­tracised at school and, like all the best nerds, turn out to be quite at­trac­tive as adults. But their un­likely friend­ship is tested by their dif­fer­ent ap­proaches in us­ing their pow­ers to save the world from hu­mankind’s im­mi­nent self-de­struc­tion. A fun read with whips­mart cul­tural ref­er­ences.

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