Bird by Rita Murphy (2008)
Middle school fiction
From the inside flap:
Miranda has no recollection of where she came from-only that years ago, a gust of wind deposited her outside Bourne Manor. The Manor’s sole inhabitant, Wysteria Barrows, took Miranda in and promptly outfitted her with special boots-boots weighted with steel to keep Miranda anchored to the ground. But aside from shelter and clothing, Miranda receives little warmth from the aging widow. The Manor, too, is a cold place, full of drafts and locked doors. Full of menace. Full of secrets.
Then one day a boy named Farley appears, and with his help, Miranda embraces her destiny with the wind . . . and uncovers the Manor’s hidden past.
I saw the cover of this book and decided to check it out. Originally I picked this book up for the read-a-thon because of its small size but I became a little impatient and decided to read it now.
Miranda is a girl so small she can easily be carried away by the wind. She was so young when the wind carried her away and dropped her in trees next to Bourne Manor that she cannot remember where she came from and what her name was. One day Miranda finds a skeleton key and her imagination opens up. She secretly explores Bourne Manor behind the back of her guardian Wysteria. After Miranda meets Farley and Wysteria is sent away to the hospital to recover from an illness, Miranda starts to become more sure about herself and learns the Manor’s past.
I loved the cover of Bird which was done by Fernando Juarez. In the beginning of the book Murphy describes Bourne Manor and I wouldn’t have been able to see it in my mind without the cover. The inside of the Manor was easy to visual with its many rooms and the ballroom that no one had ever danced in. I love the way Miranda described the Manor, which is not just a setting in the book but an actual character:
For although no one ever perished unnaturally within its walls that I knew of, the Manor, set out on its own as it was, battered by the wind, invited the spirits of those long departed and of those who roamed the shores in search of a warm fire, as it had invited me. The lost and aimless: to these Bourne Manor gave its shelter.
Rita Murphy’s writing style is simple yet so beautiful. Every character comes across the way they’re supposed to. There is not one sentence that is there needlessly.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I recommend this book to any reader of middle school or young adult fiction. I hope the author writes more stories about Miranda.