In the summer before Cullen's senior year, a nominally-depressed birdwatcher named John Barling thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone's eating "Lazarus burgers." But as absurd as the town's carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen's sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.
While Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young missionary in Africa, who has lost his faith, is searching for any semblance of meaning wherever he can find it. As distant as the two stories seem at the start, they are thoughtfully woven ever closer together and through masterful plotting, brought face to face in a surprising and harrowing climax.
Complex but truly extraordinary, tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, this novel finds wonder in the ordinary and emerges as ultimately hopeful. It's about a lot more than what Cullen calls, "that damn bird." It's about the dream of second chances.
Society members will receive a 20% discount on titles chosen for discussion and ocassional access to pre-publication previews of new books from well-known as well as up-and-coming authors. Other surprises may also be in store – remember, this is Hicklebee’s…
Our book club is full to capacity. Call the store (408) 292-8880 or email us to be added to the wait list. Novel Society facilitator, Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen’s Books, a small press specializing in multicultural children’s literature. As a publisher, she has been reading, evaluating, producing, and marketing children’s content for over ten years. Prior to heading Shen’s Books, Renee worked at several children’s book and music stores, including Linden Tree and Storyopolis. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a BA in music, and is the author of The Prince’s Diary.
Location: Street: 1378 Lincoln Ave City: San Jose, Province: California Postal Code: 95125-3010 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)