When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky Summary and Reviews

When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

by Margaret Verble

When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margaret Verble X
When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margaret Verble
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Book Summary

Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.

Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two's closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville.

When disaster strikes during one of Two's shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale's zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Why do you think the author made the decision to begin the story of Two Feathers and the Glendale Park and Zoo with "When It Was"? What does this introduction reveal about the story's setting and historical context? What major themes and motifs of the novel does this preface introduce? How do you think your view of the book would have been different if the author had not included it?
  2. How is Two treated in comparison to the other women at Glendale? Why didn't Helen Hampton "feel like she could get as familiar with Two as she could with the other residents" (10)? How does Two cope with this? After she is injured, why doesn't Two want her parents to have to travel on the train to get to her? Although Two acknowledges that she is ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Verble beautifully weaves period details with the cast's histories, and enthralls with the supernatural elements, which are made as real for the reader as they are for the characters. This lands perfectly." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This utterly memorable, beautifully written story will linger with readers." —Booklist, starred review

"An ambitious novel that's impressive in its scope and concept: Glendale Park Zoo and the 101 are rife with narrative possibility and give the author a chance to examine a fascinating cross section of race and class." —Kirkus

"Two Feathers, tough and warmhearted, clear-eyed and funny, captivates from the first striking scene. Margaret Verble has created a remarkable world, rich with vibrant characters and layered histories, long obscured, that emerge to shape their lives in surprising, thought-provoking, and moving ways." —Kim Edwards, bestselling author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Lake of Dreams

"Two Feathers Fell from the Sky is a rich and lively novel, steeped in place and history. Verble's meticulous research and generosity of spirit shine through, lending her characters and their adventures a fullness that lingers." —Kelli Jo Ford, author of Crooked Hallelujah and winner of the Plimpton Prize

This information about When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Margaret Verble Author Biography

argaret Verble is the author of Maud's Line (2015), Cherokee America (2019), and When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky (2021). Her first novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her second—a prequel to Maud's Line—was named one of 100 Notable Books of the Year in 2019 by the New York Times, won the Spur Award for best western novel, and was a finalist for the Reading the West Award for adult fiction. Verble is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky.

Link to Margaret Verble's Website

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