Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wilkes: What is Beautiful in Books and Why Does it Matter?

Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals–her family owns the local funeral home, after all. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead–just like that–six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She’s more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won’t talk to her. But life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.
In this heartfelt and quintessentially Southern coming-of-age novel, Comfort will charm young readers with her wit, her warmth, and her struggles as she learns about life, loss, and ultimately, triumph.

Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Another BEAUTIFUL story. That’s what I expected to read when I started this books, and it’s exactly what I got.

You know, the kind when you go on GR and everyone is gushing about how BEAUTIFUL it is.

And it is.

BEAUTIFUL, I mean.

But it’s also exasperating at times. Now, don’t think I’m some kind of unfeeling freak of a person. I admit, it does have quite a few feels. But it just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time. I guess, after all the books I’ve read that are supposed to be BEAUTIFUL, I just can’t see the same thing over and over again and have the same reaction every single time.

What I mean is–I really did enjoy this book. The characters, and especially Comfort herself, were great. Comfort had a compulsively readable voice, and she felt real to me. Her story spoke to me and she shines through extremely well as a character. Her growth is tremendous, the hope and loss in this story is heartbreaking–and I loved Comfort’s story as I was reading it. This is really the end of my review. My rant begins here. So for all of you looking for an amazing, BEAUTIFUL, heartbreaking book then I would highly suggest this story for you. 3.8 stars.

But that’s the thing. This isn’t new to me. I’ve seen the same story of hopes and losses and BEAUTIFUL things happen after thoroughly heart-wrenching, gut thrusting things have happened. And I enjoy reading them, but strangely enough it’s the things that aren’t beautiful that get to me. Things that happen that are horrifying and bring you to tears just thinking about the character going through them. Gritty, powerful contemporary. These three words, all put together in that order in one sentence, is why I read contemporary.

The human nature to overcome is why. And somehow, BEAUTIFUL just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I have to admit–there are some books that are BEAUTIFUL that still get to me. BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, THE TIGER RISING, HATTIE BIG SKY, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, SEE YOU AT HARRY’S, these are all BEAUTIFUL books.

And BEAUTIFUL contemporary and beautiful contemporary both have their place. It’s the ability to create original, BEAUTIFUL that stuns me every time it happens, and it’s also the beauty in things that aren’t beautiful that leaves me awake at night just thinking about them. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, for example, wasn’t BEAUTIFUL. But it was beautiful. If that makes any sense.

pg count for the paperback: 276

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