by Roisin McAuley
Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0060737883
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Morrow, Dec 2004, $24.95, 312 pp.
Twenty-seven years have passed since Lena and Jack Molloy adopted Mary, who has become a famous opera singer. Sister Monica of Saint Joseph’s Home calls out of nowhere insisting she is tying up loose ends before retiring and just wanted to check up on her “babies”. Lena’s stomach pinches as she has not heard from the nun since the adoption, but apparently the call was innocent.
With Jack on a business trip and Mary in Dublin for a performance, Lena decides to travel from California to West Ireland where they adopted their child. She always regretted not knowing her own biological parents having been adopted herself and rationalizes the trek by convincing herself she will be doing Mary a favor. With her friend Alma accompanying her, Lena begins making inquiries into who were Mary’s parents, but her fist inclination challenges her deep rooted Catholic beliefs while further evidence confronts her moral family values. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
SINGING BIRD is an interesting social drama that leaves the audience pondering difficult ethics questions that run the gamut of some of the deep social issues facing society today. Through her heroine, Roisin McAuley raises questions about the sexual promiscuity of priests and nuns, family values, truth, and adoption. Though solutions seem intended to fit book size so are too straightforward for the complex questions raised, readers will obtain a deep character study that entertains yet challenges the audience.
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