The Lord God Bird by Russell Hill (Review #2)

bird1Reviewed by Teri Davis

Passionate. Sometimes it seems that you were placed on this planet for a purpose and somehow you are drawn to it. Jake Hamrick has always had an interest in birds and one becomes his obsession in life, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, also known as the Lord God Bird. There is an unnatural attraction which becomes his quest to seek out this bird.

Knowing that the bird is believed to either be extinct, or near-extinction, Jake and his girlfriend, Robin, sell their possessions so they can search for the bird in the bayou in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. The daily searching is a constant battle with the mosquitoes and the meager subsistance of hot dogs and beans.

Being the year is 1949 also creates some problems with the racial issues and not being a native Southerner. Understanding the people of a particular geographical area along with the post war era actually is traveling back into a different time when values and thoughts were unquestionably black and white. Or are they?

Robin decides that since she has a bird-like physique, she will attempt to resemble this rare woodpecker in order to attract others of the same species. Climbing dead trees is a constant safety concern, but when nearby hunters see Robin, they begin to hunt her while Jake and Robin are still on their quest to find the bird. The quest sometimes defies common sense, but what is the right thing to do when the real endangered bird is shot? How do you continue your quest when you become the prey now with a predator on the loose? Who did the right or wrong thing?

THE LORD GOD BIRD is a novella that I did could not put down. The intensity 0f the personal voice strengthens with each word. The tale is haunting. The sense of time and place is outstanding. You can feel the sweltering heat and are almost itching from the mosquitoes. THE LORD GOD BIRD is an example of excellent writing.

Usually I tend to shy away from purchasing any book that can be read in one sitting. With the economic situation of our times, I don’t like purchasing any book that is only 197 pages and costs fifteen dollars. THE LORD GOD BIRD is definitely the exception to my reluctance. I am actually purchasing additional copies for family and friends to read. The book is that good. Yes, it is a little strange, but writing this superb needs to be shared.

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