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The Weight of Feathers: A Novel

Review

The Weight of Feathers: A Novel

THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS from debut novelist Anna-Marie McLemore begins with two families: the Palomas and the Corbeaus. They are very much alike --- both make their living as traveling performers (the Palomas as mermaids and the Corbeaus as winged tree climbers), both are large and eccentric and both share a bitter hatred for one another that our main characters, Lace and Cluck, don’t understand.

Lace is a Paloma who spends most of her time in a pink mermaid tail. Her abuela finally seems to want her to be in the Palomas’ mermaid performances, and Lace couldn’t be happier. Cluck is a Corbeau but he doesn’t perform in their shows, not that he would want to put on a large pair of wings and climb trees. Cluck has felt left out in his own family his whole life --- beat up by his older brother, Dax, always being loved less than Dax, never being allowed in the show --- and he has never exactly known why.

THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a beautiful, beautiful book that is written the way every writer wishes to write: like a very long Bob Dylan song, using only the finest words, hitting all the right notes and plucking the most fragile of heartstrings.

The Palomas and Corbeaus cross paths in a small town that hosts the annual Blackberry Festival. Lace and Cluck finally meet just as she is finally feeling accepted and he is feeling his most rejected, and the two are never the same again.

Reading some books feels like a journey that will never end (looking at you FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING). You keep reading and reading and you think you are making great progress, and then you check the page count and you have only read 3 pages. THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS was not like this. I found myself flying through it, looking down to see that I had read another 20, 30, 40 pages. Instead of a month-long journey, reading this book was like taking a brisk stroll through the woods; it doesn’t take a lot out of you but you feel better and happier and healthier somehow because you took that walk. THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a beautiful, beautiful book that is written the way every writer wishes to write: like a very long Bob Dylan song, using only the finest words, hitting all the right notes and plucking the most fragile of heartstrings. I recommend this to fans of beautiful writing, that is to say fans of Laini Taylor and her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series or fans of Patrick Ness and his book MORE THAN THIS or A MONSTER CALLS.

Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board member on September 14, 2015

The Weight of Feathers: A Novel
by Anna-Marie McLemore

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
  • Genres: Fantasy, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • ISBN-10: 125011599X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250115997