When Women Were Birds – Review

May 9, 2013

I read about Terry Tempest Williams’s When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice on Book Riot. The reviewer was so moved by the book that she read it three times in rapid succession.

The title itself was enough to get me intrigued, but with an anecdote like that, how could I not want to read this book? It arrived at my local branch library pretty quickly and I dove right in.

I may not have had the exact same reading experience as the reviewer from Book Riot, but When Women Were Birds certainly had an effect on me. It is a powerful piece of writing. I often found myself having to wrench my attention away from the book to make sure I didn’t miss my subway stop. I had to run for the doors more than once.

I cannot pinpoint exactly why this book has resonated so deeply with me. Williams wrote it at a later point in her life than I am in mine, she writes of her experiences within the Mormon church (something with which I have absolutely no experience), and her family’s deep connection to nature and, in particular, birds. There is a strong bond between the women in her family, but that is the only aspect with which I strongly identify. Nevertheless, I found myself marking (with slips of paper, mind you) multiple pages and passages that I wanted to return to and copy out for reference.

I think that this book’s ability to affect me so strongly speaks volumes about Williams’s abilities as a writer. Just read the book. I’d love to hear how others feel about it.

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3 Responses to “When Women Were Birds – Review”

  1. bewhatwedo said

    This review made me really, really want to read that book…

  2. […] base that mostly on this blog post, but also on all the reviews on […]

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