Read what people think about When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, and write your own review.

Summary | Discuss | Reviews | More Information | More Books

When Women Were Birds

Fifty-four Variations on Voice

By Terry Tempest Williams

When Women Were Birds
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2013,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 3 reader reviews for When Women Were Birds
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Lynn (03/06/13)

This book is...
This book is a memoir.
This books is poetic.
This book is a plea for open lands.
This book is about the power of words.
This book is about the mystery of the blank page.
This book is disjointed.
This book is connected.
This book is about living.
This book is about a life remembered.....
I am going to choose this book for my book discussion group because it is many things in one small volume.
Colleen L. (02/28/13)

A poetic memoir...
Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect birds, describes the book as " Brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom and wonder". I concur and would add poetic, moving and introspective. Initially, I did not like the book as the author does seem to jump from subject to subject. As I relaxed, however, and let the author take me along her journey, I began to enjoy the wandering and felt a connection with the author. I had no idea how influential the author was in helping to create the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument. Living in New England and traveling to this beautiful area, I can tell you I am eternally grateful for the conservation minded individuals who saved this awesome territory. I was so moved, that I purchased the book "Testimony" that Terry mentions in her memoir. It is a place that should be seen by everyone. I also was impressed by the way the author interpreted or tried to interpret the message of her mother's journals. It is clear she loved her mother deeply. I do not think this is a book that will appeal to everyone. For the right reader, though, it is a gem of a book to read quietly and slowly so you can savor each sentence. If I had rated the book midway and stopped, I would rated the book a "2" but the sum of the book moved me. I encourage all women to give this memoir a chance. I believe it has the ability to touch you deeply.
Christina C. (02/24/13)

A quick, insightful read
I was nervous to begin this book, described on the cover, by the author, as "fifty four variations on voice." I was afraid it would seem disjointed and I wouldn't "get it." Surprisingly, the pages just flew by and before I knew it, I had finished from cover to cover in just 3 hours!

I have never read any of Williams' prior works, including the precursor to this, "Refuge." Because of my unfamiliarity, it took me a bit to realize where she was going. I was unsure if this was a novel, fiction, biography, or a combination of the three. Once I stopped trying to put a label on it and just enjoyed it, I stopped caring.

As included in the book, it's about: Great Salt Lake, Bear River Bird Refuge, Flood, Division of Wildlife Resources, Mother, Family, Cancer, Mormon Church. The author realized none of these had anything to do with one another. Until she realized, they all had to do with her. With the author as the common denominator, she does manage to weave all of these subjects together in one story.

The only part of the book which felt slow to me was the part about Congress and lobbying and board meetings with male chauvinists. I felt this had a political agenda vibe and also had a few hypocrisies. That's just not my cup of tea.

The rest of the book with quotes, poetry snippets, personal recaps, historical and cultural lore, is quite captivating. It feels a bit like Wikipedia, in that information is presented in an encyclopedic way, but at the same time it's approachable and not overly scholarly and pretentious.

Overall, it left me with the feeling that I'd enjoyed a really diverse, interesting conversation with a bright woman.
  • Page
  • 1

More Information

Readalikes

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  132Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.