Sarah Addison Allen is a favorite author whose stories I remember details too, long after the book has been closed. Other Birds is her newest release that takes us to Mallow Island off the coast of South Carolina, to the Dellawisp, a sanctuary for birds and lost souls.
by Sarah Addison Allen
Genres: Magical Realism
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
An enchanting tale filled with magical realism and moments of pure love that won’t let you go.
Between the real and the imaginary, there are stories that take flight in the most extraordinary ways.
Right off the coast of South Carolina, on Mallow Island, The Dellawisp sits—a stunning old cobblestone building shaped like a horseshoe, and named after the tiny turquoise birds who, alongside its human tenants, inhabit an air of magical secrecy.
When Zoey comes to claim her deceased mother’s apartment on an island outside of Charleston she meets her quirky and secretive neighbors, including a girl on the run, two estranged middle-aged sisters, a lonely chef, a legendary writer, and three ghosts. Each with their own story. Each with their own longings. Each whose ending isn’t yet written.
I loved the island and the Dellawisp, a horseshoe cobblestone building with a courtyard that’s been converted to condos. It’s tucked away beyond the main streets and provides a sanctuary for tiny turquoise birds who flutter about observing the tenants as they go about their day.
The author introduces us to the island and Dellawisp along with young Zoey. Zoey is a recent high school graduate who is spending the summer in the condo she inherited from her mother. It’s her first time alone, and she wants to reconnect with the memories of her mother, but also experience life at the Dellawisp and is hoping to meet its residence. Like the birds, she is curious, tentative and eager to a part of the community.
Zoey is not traveling alone. Pigeon is with her. Pets aren’t allowed, but no one can see Pigeon. They never have. As Zoey integrates herself into life at the Dellawisp, we meet her neighbors. A chef who wakes up covered in cornmeal each morning, a henna artist running from her past, and two sisters who have not spoken in over twenty-five years.
This was a magical tale, and I loved getting to know each of the characters, including the manager who oversees the Dellawisp. Talk of food, friendships and the return of a resident quickly pulled me in. Together they form a friendship, heal and perhaps find home.
Addison delivers magical realism and complex characters who you cannot help but root for. Even the broken ones will tug at your heartstrings. I wanted to pack my bags and immediately visit this island. I wanted to take the tours, sample the food and meet the residence of the Dellawisp.
I highly recommend Other Birds and all of Allen’s books. They are keepers. If you don’t already do so, I recommend following the author on Facebook. On Sundays, she shares short stories that hook me every time. #SAAShortShortStorySunday
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Thus books is magical
Agreed. So glad you enjoyed it as well.
This sounds wonderful and I’m requesting it from my library right now. I love her books and can’t wait to read this one.
Happy reading 📚
Carole @ Carole's Random Life
I really liked this one too. The characters were just wonderful to get to know and I love the bit of magic sprinkled in the story. Great review!
Yep. SAA books are delightful.
I totally agree Kim. Fantastic review
Great minds think alike 🙂
I’ve only read two of her books, but I loved them so much. I really need to keep reading her backlist and pick up this latest one.
Oh my goodness, yes, you need to catch up!
I just put this on my TBR, it sounds. so good. Your review is excellent.
Delighted to hear that Wendy!
Anne - Books of My Heart
I have not been certain about magical realism but I’ll have to give this author a try if you like her so well.
I love all of her books. My favorite is Garden Spells.
I am new to this genre. It sounds intriguing.
My personal favorite is Garden Spells.
It was so wonderful to be back in SAA’s story-world. I’m such a fan and this did not disappoint. Loved your review!
Completely agree, Mary. Thank you.
Hmm I think I should try this author!
Hmm, I think you should!