The Gravity of Birds (Paperback)

By Tracy Guzeman

Simon & Schuster, 9781451689778, 294pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (8/5/2013)
Hardcover (8/6/2013)
Hardcover, Large Print (12/11/2013)

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

August 2013 Indie Next List

“The story begins at a lake retreat in New York state. Thomas Bayber, a young artist with great promise meets the Kessler family. The two teenage daughters, Alice and Natalie are enamored by Thomas. Jealousy unalterably affects the lives of all three of these characters for the next forty years. In those years Thomas becomes famous. Alice and Natalie disappear. Thomas informs his friend, an art professor, Dennis Finch that there is one more painting he had done that had never been shown. Stephen Jameson, an art authenticator is enlisted to help them find the missing artwork, but they must first find Alice and Natalie. The reader slowly becomes aware of the connecting threads that bind all of these characters together in the past as well as the present leading to a surprising conclusion. It was a very well written love story mystery tinged with the sadness of what might have been. Thoroughly enjoyable!”
— Nancy Nelson, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
View the List


A debut novel already destined to be a book club favorite. "With its deft interweaving of psychological complexity and riveting narrative momentum, with its gorgeous prose and poetic justice, The Gravity of Birds is about sibling rivalry, tragedies, and resurrections. And it's irresistibly exquisite" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Forty-four years after the brilliant young painter, Thomas Bayber, first meets Alice and Natalie Kessler, Bayber unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters--a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Alice, and Natalie. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting. But their task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Alice and Natalie, who seem to have disappeared.

Told in alternating chapters that weave revelations about the sisters' past with clues Finch and Jameson discover in the present, this story sets three characters on a collision course with their histories, showing how families tear themselves apart and then try to bind themselves together again, not always creating the same fabric. The Gravity of Birds "combines the drama of warring sisters, the mystery of a missing painting, and the sorrow of lost love into a haunting elegy that will...leave you breathless" (Tiffany Baker, author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County).