In this captivating memoir, Suzie Gilbert tells the rollicking story of how she turned her family life upside down to pursue her unusual passion for rehabilitating wild birds.
Through adolescence and into adulthood, Suzie Gilbert struggled to find her calling. But when she took a job working at the animal hospital near her home in New York's Hudson Valley, her passion was born. She began bringing abused and unwanted parrots home and volunteering at a local raptor rehabilitation center, activities she continued for the next eleven years, even as she started a family. Then came the ultimate commitment to her cause: turning her home into Flyaway, Inc., a nonprofit wild bird rehabilitation center.
Gilbert chronicles the years of her chaotic household-cum-bird-hospital with delightful wit, recounting the confusion that ensued as her husband and two young children struggled to live in a house where parrots shrieked Motown songs, nestling robins required food every twenty minutes, and recuperating herons took over the spare bathroom. Gradually, however, the birds came to represent the value of compassion and the importance of pursuing even the most unlikely of dreams.
Often funny, sometimes painful, Gilbert's encounters with these beautiful creatures reveal profound truths not only about animals but also about our own lives--lessons of birth and death, suffering and empathy, holding on and letting go.
Original, lyrical, and highly entertaining, Flyaway will forever change the way you see this amazing member of the animal kingdom.
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February 28, 2009
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