A White Bird Flying is formulaic, predictable, and utterly enchanting.
Laura Deal is a sweet girl, but odd. A keen observer of life in Cedartown, Nebraska, she’s too young and innocent to understand much of what she sees. Readers more mature than Laura draw their own conclusions.
After the death of her grandmother, who encouraged her literary ambitions, Laura vows never to marry but to devote herself to writing.
Laura lives so much in her imaginary worlds that she doesn’t know her own mind. When her friendship for Allen Rinemiller deepens into love, Laura sticks to her vow, choosing to be a spinster writer and heir to her wealthy aunt’s and uncle’s fortune.
Predictably, Laura comes to her senses, marries Allen, and becomes a farm wife just as her grandmother was.
Bess Streeter Aldrich plots the novel well; her characters are distinctive, quirky, and thoroughly human. Her musings on marriage, aging, and cultural change are warm and perceptive.
Though Aldrich does everything right, she lacks the talent to make her novel great; however, I don’t think you’ll mind too much. Laura is a sweetheart and there’s enough food for thought to almost make up for the novel’s failings.A White Bird Flying
By Bess Streeter Aldrich
D. Appleton, 1931
1931 bestseller # 3 My grade B