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18/11/2020

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A Bird's Eye

12/09/2013

I've just finished reading Cary Fagan's A Bird's Eye, published last month by Anansi. Divided into three parts, this 181-page novel is told from the point of view of Benjamin Kleeman, a 14-year-old boy living in a Jewish neighbourhood in 1930s Toronto. The son of Italian immigrants, Benjamin longs to transcend the boundaries of his family's existence, and he begins by developing a relationship with a girl two years his senior, as well as embarking on a career in magic.

This is the first book of Fagan's that I've tried, and I must admit that as I neared the end of the second part, I was feeling ambivalent. I had been moderately enjoying the glimpses of the characters' lives, as well as Benjamin's interactions with various community members (including a kindly librarian), but it didn't feel to me that the story was "going" anywhere or would have an ultimate point. I needn't have worried, however. In the third part, I found that the plots lines were resolved in occasionally surprising but fitting ways, providing a bittersweet conclusion. My heart was unexpectedly full as I closed the book. 

Image: A Bird's Eye

A Bird's Eye

By Fagan, Cary