I didn't know what to think about this book at first. When learning the characters in the beginning, the paragraphs would jump around from person to person. I tend to get frustrated when I can't keep up from the start. But I soon changed this thought once I knew the characters. I enjoyed the fast pace of the book, as that is exactly what I needed on that specific day.
I may be a bit biased of the book in the sense that it takes place in North Carolina and she speaks of areas that I have lived in. I also lived in Los Angeles where another character lived, so it was easy for me to connect to the atmosphere of the book and I found that it sucked me in. I love books that take me back in time to a place that I have been and memories just come through the floodgates and this book accomplished this for me.
"Byrd" basically follows Addie from her younger years up until she is well into her 50's. She struggles to find her place in life and doesn't really know how to love or really what it is. She had a deep longing for a friend in high school, Roland, that seems to follow her throughout her life and maybe this is the reason for her confusion with men.
Roland is basically a guy who went out west to chase a dream that never happens. He adopts a cocaine addiction and seems to have trouble doing basic survival functions and usually calls on the help of a woman to get him by. He, as well as Addie, don't understand their path or how to love or even want to. Maybe that is why he keeps telling her that she is the only one who "gets" him.
When Addie goes to visit Roland in Los Angeles on a whim, she finally does the deed and ends up pregnant. After a botched abortion she gives birth to a boy and gives him up for adoption and the only person she has told about this is her boss. As a mother probably would, she feels a deep connection with her child and writes letters to him (that she never sends) filling him in on the happenings in her life.
I loved this book, although I can't say why exactly. Maybe because it seemed real to me and the outcome also seemed real. Maybe it is because it took me to a place in my mind that made me feel comfortable. I don't know, but I did enjoy this read very much. I definitely recommend.
Thank you Netgalley and to the publisher of the book for the advanced copy!