This story was a hard one for me to finish. Andersen's fairy tale of the Nightingale is one I remember from my childhood - and it was never one of my favorites, because it made me sad. Nightingale' Nest did the same thing. There is so much sadness packed into Little John's life - the death of his little sister, his mother's depression and delusional state, his father's drinking, the constant worry about money and being evicted...it seems like it never lets up. And there is this poor boy trying to deal with all of it, like telling his best friend that he has outgrown video games because he doesn't want to admit his father pawned his Nintendo to pay bills. Meeting the foster girl, Gayle, he is reminded of his little sister and wants to protect her, to have a second chance. But kids are often powerless to change the circumstances they find themselves in, especially when they are up against the most wealthy man in town. Mr. King's obsession with Gayle's voice is just one more thing for Little John to deal with. Despite the magical appeal of Gayle's singing, the rest of the characters and setting are very believable. You have to persevere to the end of the book to see how the tangle of needs and desires plays out, but you will probably find yourself satisfied with the ending. And you might just spend a bit more time appreciating the birdsong around you this spring.
Visit the author's website to find out more about her and her books.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book was published February 20, 2014.