Author: Rebecca Rasmussen
Read: January 31, 2014
Summary: When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds' heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can't, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who've brought them. These spinster sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.
But back in the summer of 1947, Milly and Twiss knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn't change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn't exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly's eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.
Rebecca Rasmussen's masterfully written debut novel is full of hope and beauty, heartbreak and sacrifice, love and the power of sisterhood, and offers wonderful surprises at every turn. goodreads
Review: This book was surprisingly fulls of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The story follows Milly and Twiss throughout the summer their cousin Bett comes to visit them and changed everything. Twiss and Milly are about as different as they come. Twiss is wild and full of energy and very selfish while Milly is kind and endearing but tends to put others before herself which, in the end, does more harm than good sometimes. Bett is the whirlwind that sets the girls' family on end. This is also a story of love and heartache and as we start to understand more of the girls' parents' marriage, we see how simple mistakes can ruin relationships.
The thing that stood out to me the most in this story were the sacrifices that were made. I think everyone made their sacrifices in their own way and that was what united them in some ways but destroyed them in others. Some of the sacrifices were bigger than others (and I don't want to spoil anything so you'll just have to take my word for it) but they all affected the main characters one way or another. This book shines the light on the impact those closest to you can have on your decisions as well as how those people, and their decisions, can destroy you.
The writing was lovely and successfully forced the reader to look at their own decision making and be more aware of the effect it has on those around them. The author was clever enough to do this without shoving the idea down the readers throat but also making it very clear that the concept of "the butterfly effect" does exist and everything you do, affects everything else.