Wingless Bird

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Simon & Schuster, Jun 27, 2011 - Fiction - 384 pages
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An English country woman manages to overcome difficult circumstances to find her just reward in the healing power of love.

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I enjoyed this book however I was not convinced by the love between Agnes and Charles from the very start. It was quite confusing because it felt like Cookson was trying to make us believe their love was genuine however there was never much said about Agnes' feelings for Charles during their courtship. We are just told that she loves him but we do not know why or how this happened. By the end of the book when Agnes begins a relationship with Reg, it becomes clear why the marriage with Charles was described in this way, so that it was believable that Agnes would love another after Charles' death. However I am not convinced the way this was written about was entirely convincing. It went from gushing about how in love Charles and Agnes were to stating at the end that Agnes had always really loved Reg. Where did that come from?!! There was no hint of this at any other point in the book!
With this aside, I found it an enjoyable story. I also liked the Jane Eyre-esque ending with Reg's disfigurement creating a sense of equality between Agnes and Reg when their social statuses threatened to divide them. We have seen this before with Mr Rochester's blindness at the end of Jane Eyre.

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About the author (2011)

Catherine Cookson lived in Northumberland, England, the setting of many of her international bestsellers. Born in Tyne Dock, she was the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished woman, Kate, whom she was raised to believe was her older sister. She began to work in the civil service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married a local grammar school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer, in 1968 her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award, her readership quickly spread worldwide, and her many bestselling novels established her as one of the most popular contemporary authors. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998, having completed 104 works.

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