By Natalie Brown
(Doubleday Books, Hardcover, 9780385536752, 317pp.)
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
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A spectacularly vibrant, original debut, The Lovebird takes us from the orange-scented streets of Southern California to the vast prairie landscape of Montana, and introduces us to Margie Fitzgerald, a spirited and unforgettable heroine for our times.
Margie has always had a soft spot for helpless creatures. Her warm heart breaks, her left ovary twinges, and she is smitten with sympathy. This is how she falls in love with Simon Mellinkoff, her charismatic, obviously troubled Latin professor. As the two embark on an unconventional romance, Simon introduces Margie to his small coterie of animal rights activists, and with this ragtag group she finds her apparent mission in life. But Margie’s increasingly reckless and dangerous actions force her to flee her California college town, say goodbye to her fragile dad, and seek shelter on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Here, against a backdrop of endless grass and sky, Margie meets a soap opera-loving grandmother, an intriguing, ink-splattered man, and an inscrutable eleven-year-old girl—and makes unexpected discoveries about her heart.
Suffused with humor and compassion, The Lovebird is a radiant novel about one young woman’s love of animals, yearning for connection, and search for her place in this world.