Mr B's review
This witty and tender novel follows a nameless female narrator as she endeavours to keep her band of four chickens alive over the course of a year in a middle-of-nowhere Minnesotan town. Amid the sharply-observed character sketches and the delightful celebration of the ridiculous comedy and hazards of raising chickens, Polzin’s understated tale slowly unfolds to reveal an insightful meditation on care, motherhood and grief.
‘Completely original, full of surprise, humor, grief, and wisdom.’
Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
‘Darkly funny and poignant’
Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
‘[Polzin] writes beautifully about everything’
New York Times
Meet Gloria, Gam Gam, Darkness, Miss Hennepin County, and their unlikely owner. Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the freezing nights of a brutal winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.
Brood by Jackie Polzin is a darkly witty, deeply moving and startling original debut novel of motherhood and grief, full of sorrow, joy and unrelenting hope. Perfect for fans of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout.
Witty and profound . . . Told in short vignettes studded with breath-catching wisdom, this novel feels both delicate and sustaining from beginning to end. * Publisher’s Weekly * A book about caretaking, about trauma and loss, about keeping others and one’s self alive, with sentences so confident and exact they continually took my breath away, Brood is that rare book that lives inside of you long after it’s over, that reminds you of the vast amounts of life that language is capable of conjuring. — Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want I have never read a book like this one. Written with such delicacy, such elegance, the prose made me feel that the narrator has opened her heart to me, even as she withholds so much. This was a book about everything-joy and love and beauty and loss. Marriage and motherhood and friendship and grief. All brought to life through the story of a little backyard flock. I was surprised at every turn, moved to laughter and tears both-I could not put it down. — Emily Ruskovich, author of Idaho Oh, did I love this book and its magnificent cast of characters-human and avian alike. Brood is the most vibrant and compelling slice of life I’ve been privy to in a great while-it’s generous, original, and witty, an absolute treasure of a novel. — Claire Lombardo, bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had A beautiful book: sharp and funny and wonky in a way that only accentuates its depth of feeling, its clarity of thought, and its desperately human sadness. — Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies This is the most wonderful book! Acutely observed and flawlessly conveyed. Completely original, full of surprise, humor, grief, and wisdom and just the right amount of chickens. I am hugely on board with Brood. — Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Brood, which chronicles a year of grief subsumed through care, abounds in wit, charm, and the very mystery of being. — Joy Williams, author of The Visiting Privilege
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