Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Gravity of Birds

Title:  The Gravity of Birds
Author:  Tracy Guzeman
Publication Information:  Simon & Schuster. 2013. 294 pages.

Book Source:  I received this book through the GoodReads First Reads program free of cost in exchange for an honest review. The book arrived as an advance uncorrected proof.

Favorite Quote:  "That's the job of an artist:  to make people look at things - not just at things, but at people and at places - in a way other than they normally would. To expose what's hidden below the surface."

Thomas Bayber is a world-renowned painter. He has not painted for many many years and lives pretty much as a recluse. Dennis Finch has spent his life studying Thomas Bayber and supporting him as an individual and as an artist. He is the authority on Thomas Bayber's work and is shocked when Bayber reveals the existence of an undocumented painting. A painting that is part of a triptych that he now wants to sell.

The painting is of a young Thomas Bayber and two young ladies - sisters Alice and Natalie Kessler. Bayber has one piece of the painting. The other two are supposedly with the two Kessler sisters, who seem to have vanished. Bayber charges Dennis Finch to find the other two panels of the paintings so that the three can be put up for sale, and he engages Stephen Jameson, an art expert, to authenticate and sell the paintings.

The book is about Finch and Jameson's search for the paintings and the sisters. The book weaves back and forth through time and characters. Alternating sections tell of the the search, of the past relationships between Bayber and the Kessler sisters, and of the life of the sisters. What emerges is a tale more complicated and discoveries much different than what Finch and Jameson could ever have imagined.

This book reminded me a little of Kate Morton's books (The Secret Keeper) - the emotional story, the mystery, the hint of things around the corner. The book kept me reading. The ending throws in a curve that I felt was unnecessary to the story, but other than that, this story pulls you in and keep you with it. A beautiful debut. I look forward to reading more by Tracy Cuzeman.


  1. If it's like The Secret Keeper, I want to read it! I reviewed The Secret Keeper book on my blog ( think it's wonderful. I wonder if you read The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen? It sounds similar to this book.

    1. I have not read the Bird Sisters, but I will add it to my list to read (the list that never gets any shorter, right?) I look forward to reading your review of this when you get to it.

  2. I have to read this to review. I have started it and quit two times so far. I do not know what is going on with me. But, if you think it is like The Secret Keeper, I will try again.


    1. I have had that happen with books before too - gotten a great recommendation and from many different people and just not been able to enjoy the book. I think some books speak to us, and some just don't. The storyline for this one is not like Kate Morton's. It was more the writing style that reminded me of Kate Morton's books. Good luck making it through. I look forward to reading what you think about it.