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 girland 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.
Some of the recent comments posted about The Lovebird. Join the discussion! You can see the full discussion here.
Ask Natalie Brown a question about 'The Lovebird'
I don't have a question for you. But, do want to say thank you, not only for writing such an engaging novel, but for taking the time and making the effort to answer the questions here. I find it refreshing and helpful. I shall look forward to ... - Lea Ann
I loved the use of animal names as chapter titles. This is a book I would reread with a different focus and could find many more connections. - sandra54
Did Simon ever truly care about Margie? How did you feel about his character?
A friend loaned me her copy of this book after she read it for Book Browse, and Simon seemed very realistic and unlikable -older guy, fighting getting old by going after a younger woman AND choosing someone who is vulnerable. His parting words to get... - rebeccar
Did you connect with Margie's concerns about the treatment and welfare of animals? What animal-related issues did the book raise for you?
I definitely related to Margie's concerns for suffering animals and the deplorable conditions of food factory situations. It reminded me of the shock I felt after watching a documentary on American food called Food, Inc. I do not support violent ... - rebeccar
Did you like the book?
I liked the second half better (as many people have commented), and I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. I always feel badly saying something critical about a book as I know how much work it takes to write and how difficult it can ... - rebeccar
"The Lovebird is a compassionate and inviting novel about loneliness and heartbreak, finding a place to belong, and what we will do to protect the things we love. Brown evokes great emotion with her small and perfect details. The image of the lovebirdconfused and losttouched me to the core, and stayed with me long after I shut the book." - Jennifer Close, bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses
"Natalie Brown has written a sly and quietly funny novel of a young woman's coming of age. Her unusual heroine, Margie Fitzgerald, is a passionate innocent, a dreamer blessed with loopy confidence, charming directness, and a very American logic all her own." - Honor Moore, author of The Bishop's Daughter
"The Lovebird asks us what it means to love, to belong, to believe. It's a book about new vision, second chances, and one young woman's desire to find her place among her human - and animal - kin." - Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men
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Natalie Brown grew up in Orange County, California. She earned a BA in Literature from the University of California at San Diego, and MA degrees in English and Native American Studies from Montana State University. She lives in Iowa. The Lovebird is her first novel.
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