Title: And the Birds Rained Down
Author: Jocelyne Saucier
Rating: 3.5 / 5
This short read (under 200 pages) took me over two weeks to finish. A huge part of that can be attributed to the fact that I started school two weeks ago and recreational reading quickly got cut back in the overwhelm of a new semester. Still, though, this book wasn’t really pulling at me.
After I could devote some time to it, I got through it very quickly indeed. It took a little getting into, but it was worth it. It felt like a very long short story or a novella instead of a novel. The writing (or translation) was really nice. I wouldn’t necessarily use the word atmospheric to describe the book, but the atmosphere–the setting–was integral and was written to good effect, and something that seems almost surreal or magical pervades the story and the writing.
Apparently it was a Canada Reads selection for “breaking barriers,” which I didn’t know until I finished it, but which makes sense. It was very thematic, which I think worked well for it. Some of the themes it tackled were aging, mental health, autonomy, stories/narrative, love, suffering, friendship, and life in general. It doesn’t necessarily go deeply into each one, but I think it does them justice–and actually now that I think about it, it does a better job at exploring all of these themes in its relatively few pages than longer books have done with just one of them. Maybe I should increase its rating. However it sometimes seemed a little too…precious, I guess. Definitely an interesting and thoughtful read, though.