Crow Talk: A Novel (Hardcover)
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Nationally bestselling author of The Music of Bees Eileen Garvin returns with a moving story of hope, healing, and unexpected friendship set amidst the wild natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Frankie O’Neill and Anne Ryan would seem to have nothing in common. Frankie is a lonely ornithologist struggling to salvage her dissertation on the spotted owl following a rift with her advisor. Anne is an Irish musician far from home and family, raising her five-year-old son, Aiden, who refuses to speak.
At Beauty Bay, a community of summer homes nestled on the shores of June Lake, in the remote foothills of Mount Adams, it’s off-season with most houses shuttered for the fall. But Frankie, adrift, returns to the rundown caretaker’s cottage that has been in the hardworking O'Neill family for generations—a beloved place and a constant reminder of the family she has lost. And Anne, in the wake of a tragedy that has disrupted her career and silenced her music, has fled to the neighboring house, a showy summer home owned by her husband's wealthy family.
When Frankie finds an injured baby crow in the forest, little does she realize that the charming bird will bring all three lost souls—Frankie, Anne, and Aiden—together on a journey toward hope, healing, and rediscovering joy. Crow Talk is an achingly beautiful story of love, grief, friendship, and the healing power of nature in the darkest of times.
About the Author
Eileen Garvin is the author of the national bestselling novel The Music of Bees and the acclaimed memoir How to Be a Sister. Born and raised in Washington State, she lives in Oregon.
“With great compassion and keen appreciation, Garvin gently applies the wisdom found in this simple act of caring to help a marriage mend, a friendship blossom, and a child heal. A stunning affirmation of nature’s power to soothe and rejuvenate.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
“Eileen Garvin deftly explores our human connections - with each other, with nature, and with ourselves. Crow Talk will leave you in awe at how the smallest, most tender moments can hold the power to transform. A beautiful, unforgettable book.” —Shelby Van Pelt, New York Times bestselling author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
“Bursting with beautifully detailed observations of Pacific Northwest wildlife, Crow Talk will speak to the hearts of nature and bird lovers. Eileen Garvin’s story is itself a rich ecosystem that interconnects two women’s family histories, traumas, fears, disappointments—and above all, their determination to heal. As biologist Frankie attempts to decipher the language of crows and songwriter Anne tries to understand why her son can’t speak, the new friends find themselves muted in multiple ways—unable to pursue their scientific and creative passions, ask for help, set limits, forgive. The crows in the story always know how to speak their minds, and perhaps there are lessons to be learned from their candid communications. This book is a must-read for crow devotees and critics alike!” —Glendy Vanderah, bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars
"This novel did more than just engage me as a reader, it completely transported me. Crow Talk is keenly observant, highly atmospheric, and full of hope. Garvin writes with great warmth and pathos about the majesty of the natural world, as well as the untamed wilds of the human heart." —Jonathan Evison, nationally bestselling author of Again and Again
“I so enjoyed this book that I couldn’t put it down; a life-affirming story of love, loss, pride, loneliness, forgiveness, and the power of friendship, against the backdrop of the raw and natural world of June Lake and its restorative magic, where a baby crow in recovery and a small boy in confusion focus the attention of those around them. It is a reminder that when we can’t find answers out in the world, we need the quiet of nature to hear those answers within ourselves, and the time to recognise them. And that to be heard, we must first find our voice.” —Frieda Hughes, author of George – A Magpie Memoir
"I love this book! Eileen Garvin has created characters--human and corvid--so vividly appealing that long before I finished the book, I felt we were good friends. This is a book about both loss and redemption, a song of praise to the dazzling beauty and power of connecting with creatures other than ourselves. It will make you want to cheer!" —Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus
"In Garvin’s beautiful novel, Frankie and Anne retreat to Beauty Bay hoping to find healing in nature, but it is their unexpected new friendship that offers each a path away from alienation and grief. This is the deep wisdom of Crow Talk, that caring for others—children, friends, crows—is a way to learn (or remember) how to care for ourselves." —Claire Boyles, author of Site Fidelity
"Best seller Garvin’s debut, The Music of Bees, sparkled. She returns with a story of friendship and healing set in the Pacific Northwest where two women find refuge in an off-season enclave. One is battered by her failing academic career; the other, far from her Irish home, is trying to raise her [son] who will not speak. When an injured baby crow enters their lives, the three find something like solace." —Library Journal