Iain Reid is 27, highly educated and highly unemployed. He accepts a summer job with CBC radio. But it really doesn't pay a lot....and his parents live very close by.....so the decision is made to move in with them for the summer. The summer comes and goes ...and before you know it - a year has passed.
One Bird's Choice is the memoir of that year. What struck me first was Iain's descriptions of his parents, their conversations, actions and idiosyncrasies. The affection her feels for them is very evident is his writing. Never identified by name, Mom and Dad are the headliners in this book. They are quirky and slightly eccentric, but oh so comfortable with their lives and each other. I couldn't get enough of their everyday life. The common and mundane take on a whole new look. Mom and Dad really do live life on their own terms.
Their rural property- Lilac Hill - is home to many and varied animals. The book takes it's title from Lucius - the last guinea fowl left on the farm. Guinea fowl are communal birds. Mom is relieved when Lucius chooses his new flock - the family. Iain - not so thrilled. The bird follows him around and makes him late for work many times.
There was just one small sour note for me. I'm not sure if Reid was taking literary license in describing a scene with a hen reluctant to give up her eggs, but really Iain - not cool to punch a chicken.
Nothing earth shattering happens in One Bird's Choice, there are no great aha! moments or epiphanies. Rather, it a slow gentle read filled with lots of humour, warmth and the realization that yes - you can go home again.
Congratulations to Iain Reid for winning a CBC Bookie for Best Non Fiction book for One Bird's Choice.
Check out what everyone else on this TLC Book Tour thought. I thoroughly enjoyed One Bird's Choice, and you can too! Thanks to the publisher House of Anansi Press, I have one copy to giveaway. Open to US and Canada. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Ends Sat. Mar. 26 at 6 pm EST.