Matthew Reilly is a busy academic, a lonely priest haunted by secrets. Young Alison is the shy and devoted keeper of Daisy, a falcon which suffered an accident and can no longer fly. The three of them meet in a Boston parish, but Matt has forgotten a momentary but disturbing meetup with Alison, homeless eight years earlier in Toronto. Close to exhaustion, he's forced to reflect on what's become of his life, including the loss of a son that no one knew he'd fathered. Alison and Matt had a fateful encounter during her homeless period, but Matt doesn't connect that frail teenager with the healthy young woman she'd become. It's left to Alison to uncover Matt's past and for Matt to come to terms with it.
"The spirit of brokenness and its redemption lie at the heart of Carole Giangrande's brilliant, at times shattering, novel. Here, human brutality gives way to an abiding hope in the unseen order that binds all of creation, in a physical world at once sacred and profane. A glorious expression of Giangrande's deeply spiritual vision, The Tender Birds is a rare and riveting fusion of 'the poetry of things imagined,' gorgeously distilled prose, urgency, and exquisite plotting--a literary page-turner of the highest order. I'm in awe of Giangrande's work and the reassuring wisdom that suffuses it, wisdom our world badly needs right now."
--Carol Bruneau, author of A Circle on the Surface, A Bird on Every Tree, These Good Hands and several other novels.
"With breathtaking language and gentle insights, this quietly beautiful book gives us good people struggling with the mute loneliness imposed by secrets. Through her characters' love for that most ancient of birds--the falcon--Giangrande takes us into the mysteries of faith, forgiveness and the search for peace. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, a joy to read, the novel lingers long after its close."
-- Irene Guilford, author of Waiting For Stalin To Die
"Not magical realism, but piercingly real magic; wounds and revelations are Carole Giangrande's canvas. An award-winning novelist, Giangrande moves her vivid characters deftly through darkness and light, chiaroscuro. I found it hard to close the last page on people and birds who entered my life through this tender, poignant novel."
--Mary Corkery, author of Simultaneous Windows