By Sherry Parnell
Wow! “Let the Willows Weep” is beautifully written. From the beginning, I felt as though I stepped back in time, right into the pages of the book. The time frame felt like the depression era in a mining town. The protagonist is “Birddog,” the nickname given to the only girl in the family by her beloved older brother, Denny. Her daddy was a miner who doted on her, her mother was disapproving and cold to her, and her other brother Caul tormented her endlessly.
This story is one of loss and repetition. After a tragic accident, the dynamic of the story changes. Denny dutifully follows in his father’s footsteps. To make ends meet, he begins working in the mine, despite his desire for a different life. Soon after, Denny shocks his mother by bringing his new “surprise” wife to supper. His mother is reluctant to lose Denny and is viscerally obvious with her feelings about this turn of events. As fate would have it, Denny has married “his mother.”
Birddog is meandering through the cemetery one day when she meets Diggs and his brother Samuel. Birddog immediately is drawn to Samuel, and a love affair ensues. Their love grows until Denny confronts Birddog about her relationship with Samuel and demands that she break it off. It is a complex situation.
In the end, the story comes full circle, and the cycle begins again.
When I finished reading the book, I was a little confused. I reread the first chapter of the book and realized when I reread the first paragraph of chapter two that the voice in the first chapter is Birddog’s daughter, then the point of view goes to Birddog.
Compared to the rest of the book, the end seemed rushed – everything abruptly ended without the same satisfaction I experienced throughout the rest of the book. Questions that needed answers had none. I loved the book until the end where I felt like I was hanging by the last page, grasping for another.
Have you read this? Let me know what you thought!