The Language of Birds (Paperback)
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Gracie is a serious, sensitive, aspiring writer; Jannie, her autistic younger sister, is passionate about birds. As children, they were taken by their mother on a senseless trip through Europe that ended in their mother's suicide. Now, in Berkeley, their father works tirelessly to find ways to engage Jannie, while Gracie--unwilling to reveal the truth about her mother's suicide or her sister's autism to anyone outside her family--weaves a web of lies around herself that isolate her even as Jannie, in part through her relationships with and understanding of birds, begins to speak, interact, and emerge. Narrated by Gracie and alternating back and forth between 2002, when the sisters are still children/adolescents, and 2017, when they are in their early adulthood, The Language of Birds is a story of coming to understand what seems unfamiliar and indecipherable, and of finding authentic ways to be with the people you love.