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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anatomy of Wings

The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee (February 10th 2009)

Grade: 1.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Jennifer Day lives in a small Australian mining town full of secrets. After the sudden death of her teenage sister [Eliza]Beth, Jennifer uncovers a blue cardboard box of her sister’s processions—a black rubber-band bracelet, a silver necklace with a half-a-broken-heart pendant, an address written in a leftward-slanting hand on a scrap of paper, and ballets slippers wrapped in their laces.

Why couldn’t Jennifer—or anyone else—save Beth? Their parents blame Beth’s friends and themselves, and Jennifer’s eccentric grandmother is convinced that Beth had been communing with angels. Jennifer isn’t sure what to believe. With the help of her best friend, she tries to piece together the final months of her sister’s life using the clues found in the box. But what she finds are mysteries, miracles, and more questions.”

Review: Told in a melancholy mood throughout, The Anatomy of Wings had an almost lyrical tone. It wasn’t quite hard to imagine it as a poem, with its short and powerful sentences. Beautifully written to say the least.

The transition of Beth’s utter demise and total breakdown was well crafted, the clues helping to move along the story. When I first read the novel, nothing made sense; it was too much to handle all at once. But after settling down for a few minutes and recollecting my thoughts, I found myself actually enjoying it somewhat.

What had forced me from giving this a higher grade was the fact that it had too much going on at the same time. It was much too random, too confusing to completely stay focus to the main plot, which to this point I’m still not sure what is was. It started out with Beth’s funeral, then it moved to Jenny losing her singing voice and trying to reclaim it, next came the boy’s anatomy, which was also random within itself, and finally to the stories behind each member of the community. Stir and repeat. However, I have to admit, some of the stories were captivating and engrossing.

I just have to mention that Beth’s character developed wonderfully. I just can’t seem to explain why…Also, Jenny sounds so much older than she actually is. She's supposedly 10 but sounds to be in the later teens.

Overall: This book I have a feeling was written to be re-read. The first time everything was too disjointed, but I believe that the second read will be much more pleasant. So would I recommend this book? I’m not too sure actually. The best I can say is that whenever you have some free time, just try to reach to the two hundredth page. Take small intervals time to time to help you keep interest in this story because it was quite hard to continue reading.

Cover B


  1. Ok, I'll think I'll put this aside for now and try to revisit it when I have more time. Thanks :)

  2. I think I'll see if my library has it. I do like that cover, though.

    Thanks for the thoughtful review.

  3. Hi,I've read it as well, and I enjoyed it a bit more than you (I gave it 3 out of 5 on my librarything), and I actually liked the secondary stories. But I can't remember anything about the boy's anatomy...maybe my ARC wasn't complete?

  4. I liked some of the stories as well. Some, not all. But it kind of distracted the reader from the main plot of the book. She tried to give it more depth than what would I have thought to be more necessary.

    And the anatomy wasn't that big. It was just a small [or two] with her best friend. When she got the book and started talking to her about it.

  5. You know how Beth always felt as if she needed to save the bugs from spiders' webs? Well that was what the secondary stories were put in for - she was saving people. After she died one of the brothers moved out of the house, the couple who lost their child began to look at each other again, etc.