The Days When Birds Come Back (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
In her latest novel, The Days When Birds Come Back, Deborah Reed weaves an unforgettable tale of redemption and perseverance that questions what it means to love in times of grief and sorrow. Still raw from her divorce and the recent loss of her beloved grandparents, June returns to the Oregon coast and the house that holds her dark memories. With plans to sell her grandparents’ historic bungalow, she hires Jameson, a stranger from out of town, to restore it over the summer. But upon meeting, June and Jameson realize they have much more to contend with than an old house.
Propelled by Reed’s “gorgeous and wise prose” (Cheryl Strayed), The Days When Birds Come Back follows June and Jameson as they confront their harrowing, intertwined pasts. As the walls of June’s childhood home come down, long-buried secrets are exhumed. Jameson’s marriage is crumbling under the weight of a traumatic loss that took place years ago in June’s town, and June is grappling with the guilt of her troubled adolescence and father’s elusive death. Alone in the sweltering heat of the summer, their chemistry is undeniable. But can they find the forgiveness they need in time to build a future together? Scintillating and brimming with hope, Reed’s gripping story will keep readers on the edge of their seats. “An emotionally satisfying novel” (Publishers Weekly) set against the backdrop of Oregon’s charming, rustic coast, The Days When Birds Come Back is the perfect book to escape with this winter.
Praise for The Days When Birds Come Back
“Reed is skilled at unraveling their stories gradually, and is particularly adept at both drawing parallels between June and Jameson and depicting how the two help each other through their pain...[The Days When Birds Come Back] is an emotionally satisfying novel about the lingering effects of trauma and how people deal with guilt.” –Publishers Weekly
"Reed shines with a light hand and direct storytelling, but her characters are what make this novel move—their vulnerability, imperfect recovery, and endearing loss for words."—Booklist
"Two strangers, each harboring guilty sorrow over past losses, offer each other solace in this introspective novel from Reed."—Kirkus Reviews
“In Reed’s achingly exquisite latest, two scarred-by-life souls—a divorcee and a man toppled by tragedy—hide from their pasts by together renovating an old Oregon house. About the love we’ve lost, the mistakes and secrets we're afraid to reveal, and a haunting reminder that second chances aren’t just given—we have to be brave enough to earn them. A blindingly beautiful book.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World
“The Days When Birds Come Back haunted me every day I read it, and has continued to ever since. I don’t believe I’ve ever read such an exquisitely painful story that has on a daily basis so affected the way I interact with other humans, especially my dearest loved ones. This is a novel that makes me want to pay better attention.”—Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lions and Lamb
"The Days When Birds Come Back is a gorgeous meditation of the importance of paying attention to one thing in particular: the indelible map our past creates. In Reed’s dazzling new novel, we find a mesmerizing melding of two very different tales: one involving random tragedy, another based on misunderstanding, both bound by the power of regret. As the stories merge, we discover that the inescapable insistence that we must face our truth, change our map, and thereby find the truest and best course for the future. In this raw and honest journey of addiction, love, trauma, and redemption, we discover that lives can be mended, maps re-drawn. Whether by adopting a child, restoring a home, or by acknowledging a love that deserves it, Reed has reminded us that we can only fully claim our lives when we embrace our history."—Laura Pritchett, author of The Blue Hour winner of the PEN USA Award
“Deborah Reed's story of two people struggling to integrate past pain with a tantalizing future is as misty and heart-stopping as the Oregon coast itself. And in the wonderful, difficult June Byrne, she has created one of the most complex and relatable portraits of a recovering alcoholic in memory.”—Kristi Coulter, author of Nothing Good Can Come from This
“A haunting story of love and loss, The Days When Birds Come Back is the kind of book that you sink into on the first page and don’t want to leave. Deborah Reed’s characters are both flawed and sympathetic, and their struggle to make terms with the past gives this novel a wonderful urgency.”—Jane Delury, author of The Balcony
Deborah Reed is the author of the novels Olivay; Things We Set On Fire, which sold over 100,000 copies in its first six months; and Carry Yourself Back to Me, a Best Book of 2011 Amazon Editors' Pick. She has written two thrillers, A Small Fortune and Fortune's Deadly Descent, under her pen name, Audrey Braun. She lives on the coast of Oregon.