Book Review & (Goodreads Giveaway): Where the Sweet Bird Sings by Ella Joy Olsen

Title:  Where the Sweet Bird Sings
Author:  Ella Joy Olsen
Publisher:  Kensington Publishing Corp.
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction

In this provocative new novel, the author of Root, Petal, Thorn offers a powerful story of resilience, hope, and the secrets that, no matter how deeply hidden, can shape and ultimately unite a family. What connects us to one another? Is it shared history? Is it ancestry? Is it blood? Or is it love? 

People respond to tragedy in different ways. Some try to move on. Some don’t move at all. A year after her young son’s death due to a rare genetic disease, Emma Hazelton is still frozen by grief, unable and unwilling to consider her husband Noah’s suggestion that they try to have another child.

As the future Emma once imagined crumbles, her family’s past comes into sharp relief. Searching for the roots of her son’s disease, Emma tries to fit together the pieces in her genealogical puzzle. Hidden within an old wedding photograph of her great-grandparents is an unusual truth Emma never guessed at—a window into all the ways that love can be surprising, generous, and fiercely brave . . . and a discovery that may help her find her own way forward at last. 

I started off Where the Sweet Bird Sings loving the dedication the author, Ella Joy Olsen wrote.

Dedicated to:
"All the people who ache to have a child, to those who have lost one, and to every person who loves a child and worries about things that are beyond their control."
Heartfelt, emotionally charged and well executed, Where the Sweet Bird Sings is about a woman's journey through layers of grief, a broken marriage, and family secrets, that may or may not explain how shattered her life have become.  As the death and funeral of her beloved grandpa falls on the same days as the loss of her son due to a genetic disease, Emma finds herself lost and uncertain of the days ahead. When she realize her belief in her family's history falls apart, she must find out who she is and what it all means for her. And we're right there with her in this journey that is emotional in many ways.

"Because here’s the thing: There are many things that connect one person to another. It could be shared history. Or biology. It could be blood. Or it could be love." (266)

Beautifully written and intrinsically fervid, Where the Sweet Bird Sings sings of finding the voice again when grief swallowed it whole. What loss meant, and how one manages drives the force behind this journey, and knowing that you're never alone.

"Inspecting the past, it's not a bad thing. Sometimes understanding that everyone has a story means you're less alone. " (264)

Companion to her first novel, Root, Petal, Thorn, though not necessary to read together, Where the Sweet Bird Sings will rile you up one way or another. 

For my clean readers, there are minor intimacy in this book.

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Ella Joy Olsen lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a century old brick bungalow with her husband and three children. She has spent nearly a decade on the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake City Public Library system (and even more years browsing the stacks), and is a member of Women's Fiction Writers and the best book club ever, (SLC Bibliophiles). 

TO CONNECT WITH ELLA:  website,  facebook,  twitter

Click on the Cover image below to go to the Goodreads Giveaway page:
Ends August 29, 2017


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