Parakeet: A novel

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With wedding plans in place and the big day just a week away, a hesitant bride encounters a parakeet in her hotel room. It isn’t just a wayward bird, however: the bride is certain it is her grandmother, who instructs her to call off the wedding and find her brother. Estranged for years, the bride searches for her brother, and their reunion is different from the bride’s expectations in every possible way. As the wedding gets closer, the bride finds herself spiraling through past and present, revisiting traumas from her past that are as immediate and searing as the day they happened. The line between reality and dream blurs, and the bride loses track of who she is and isn’t–and questions whether a full understanding of identity is really necessary at all.

Parakeet is a novel as hard to pin down as the wandering imagination of the protagonist, and, like the bride herself, it takes readers to glorious places of possibility and potential. If the past is never really past, then what is the present? Time is slippery; intentions, desires, and expectations twine together in uncomfortable ways. The novel’s portrayal of the wrenching challenge of true intimacy, along with incandescent prose, make Parakeet unforgettable.


Reviewed By:

Author Marie-Helene Bertino
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publish Date 6/2/2020
ISBN 9780374229450
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2020
Category Popular Fiction
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