BookBrowse Reviews Brood by Jackie Polzin

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Brood

by Jackie Polzin

Brood by Jackie Polzin X
Brood by Jackie Polzin
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  • Published:
    Mar 2021, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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Jackie Polzin's debut is the quietly touching story of a woman in the Midwest raising chickens and coming to terms with the shape of her life.

Brood: a "hatch of young birds" or a "human family, children." To brood: to "meditate on." These definitions from the Concise Oxford Dictionary indicate just how perfect the title of Jackie Polzin's first novel is. It is literally about keeping chickens, but it is also a wryly reflective first-person narrative from a woman who hoped for children but couldn't have them. While feeling broody, she's brooding over a variety of everyday fears and concerns.

Four years ago, the narrator and her husband, Percy, an economist, acquired four chickens: Darkness, Gam Gam, Gloria and Miss Hennepin County. The couple lives on the edge of a Minnesota city, in a slightly sketchy neighborhood, yet their backyard chicken coop offers a taste of the pastoral. The narrator is realistic about the threats these birds face, starting with the bitter cold winters. She also seeks to defend them against illness, ...

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