Ghostbird: Carol lovekin
How do you deal with life when you feel that you don’t exist and to the world you appear invisible? What happens when you think you have a perfect life and realize that it is an illusion? How can you forgive who you are when you cannot forgive yourself? What happens when secrets and lies become part of your everyday life as you search for answers as to who you really are? Two women and one fourteen year old teen are at the center of this novel as we meet Violet a mother who despises the sight of her daughter, Cadi, and resents her relationship with her Aunt Lili. Like a cookie with a cream filled inside Cadi feels stuffed in the middle or a sandwich with three layers and she is the one that is squashed between the two slices of bread with no where to go and no one to add some flavor or in this case truth. Promises have been made and deals struck as Cadi is headstrong, belligerent and definitely not a typical teen who just wants answers but might find them in ways that you and many others might not understand but find fascinating. Living in a magical world, hearing voices and dealing with the scent of a summer rain on a nightly basis, Cadi is determined to learn the truth about her father’s death and what really happened to her sister. As she searches the internet, tries to find the secrets she hears voices, sees ghosts and thinks one might belong to her sister Dora.
Owen Penry has returned and disrupted Violet’s thoughts and life when he tries to become part of her life and she refuses his to listen to his words. Violet resents everyone including Cadi and Lili and she feels she does not exist. Anger is her best emotion and fear that Cadi will learn her secrets another. Not wanting her to go to the Lake the author sets readers on a quest to learn more and why when Lili allows her to go there and they return and receive Violet’s wrath. Anger, hate, sadness and the fact that the fault lies in many places but will Cadi unravel the truth? The passion and love between Cadi: Aunt and niece is strong and electric at times as is the discord and unfeeling toward Cadi from Violet the same. As an acrobat climbs up on a tightrope that is strong and has to carefully balance himself not to fall, so the relationship between these three women living in a world they would all like to escape. Lili’a world if magical and Cadi seems to see ghosts and one looks like her sister Dora. A Ghostbird is an owl that has special powers and the wings of the bird need to be developed before it can fly. Can you feel the secrets and smell the fragrance in the air? In August the rain falls and the air is cold and damp throughout the night but is it washing away the sins, the filth are the raindrops the tears of so many. Voices are heard in the middle of the night and someone is outside her window staring up at her but who? The ghostbird is in the form of an owl resembling a lost child and wanting something from Cadi. When she goes out to the lake she comes back scratched and hurt. Why is this ghost or phantom wanting to hurt her and connect? Why won’t anyone tell her the truth and why is her mother repeating history by acting towards Cadi as her mother did to her with indifference, anger and resentment? Many issues come to light as secrets is the focal point, resentment, family love in a different way, hope, truth and hopefully an ending with answers. Violet had a difficult life with Teilo and then we meet someone close to Lili who opens another door and more floodgates into the past.
As the Ghostbird appears within her dreams Cadi realizes the reasons why and as the bird says: I’m waiting but why? “ Her wings are as broad and pleasing as an unblemished sky. The ghost dreams about songs, laughter, and dream brings half-remembered landscapes of unknown longing.” The Ghostbird wants Cadi to hear her? Can she? Violet, Lili, Cadi, Pomona who is Lili’s friend and more all have their own secrets to hide and bare. Owen comes back and everything seems different and just maybe Violet will tell Cadi the truth. Cadi finds her way to learning about her father and wants to help free her sister from her bonds. Page 315 explains it all as Cadi who just wanted to learn the truth hears the voice and sees the owl’s coat and the thousand feathers. A book that will reveal it all and three women that have to decide on the next path to follow. Magical scenes, haunting ones and spells and rain that sets the mood, tone and voice of many of the scenes ad the rainmaker accepts gifts, the ghosts are revealed and it’s up to Cadi, Violet and Lili to decide to accept them. Understanding the meaning of Bloudeuwedd, Dora’s real name and the transformation of Dora from a child, ghost to a ghostbird is truly breathtaking along with the significance of the lake and the garden. The smell of the flowers, the unhappiness that permeated when Cadi tried to bring some joy into her mother’s life and a friend named Cerys who stood by Cadi and three worlds that would change and some memories that just might bring them together.
Cadi is a vibrant character with a strong will and personality who will stop at nothing no matter what she has to do to learn the truth behind her father’s death, her mother’s anger and Lili’s fears. Lili might be a witch and cast spells, love Cadi and will never steer her wrong but Cadi has spent her life mistrusting others, fighting for herself and wanting to be seen and not just heard at times dealing with a mother who did not want to love another child and hoping that like the Ghostbird she would no longer have to say: Can you hear me? Can you See Me? I am here!
Compelling, thought provoking, musically written as if it were a string quartet playing a beautiful Chopin waltz, Ghostbird is for everyone to read to understand that sometimes in order to move ahead we need to FORGIVE: MADDAU. The author takes readers into the hearts, mind, souls and fears of there women that just might emerge stronger, bolder and braver.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine