All the Dancing Birds by Auburn McCanta set my heart aflutter and my mind to dancing as it immersed me in Lillie Claire's struggle to hold on to herself. McCanta's lyrical prose wrapped me in the story like a comforting blanket as we traveled through Lillie Claire's good days and bad days. I cringed as Allison, Lillie Claire's daughter, struggled accept the reality of the changes in her mother as Lillie Claire lost her hold on her memories, her life, and her self. I blinked back tears as Bryan, Lillie Claire's son, gently but efficiently guided Lillie Claire through the necessary steps to preserve her dignity as much as possible. The letters Lillie Claire wrote for her children explaining her "failures" as she saw them and giving them their ancestral heritage left me clamoring for more as I'm sure her children felt when they finished reading them. Lillie Claire's "woman" aka Jewell made me appreciate how precious caretakers for those who can no longer care for themselves are. John Milton the Cat made me smile with every appearance. McCanta's brave book about Alzheimer's made me think about what I would want in Lillie Claire's situation gently bringing me to understand the emotional journey Lillie Claire traverses through various stages of her disease. No one in this book is perfect allowing the reader to identify with each one at various times and imagine myriad ways to handle the situations that arise. As a reader, I was enchanted by McCanta's writing and characters. As a writer, I was inspired to write from my heart. All the Dancing Birds flutters around one's being and settles into one's soul through words that dance across the page in an easy to follow rhythm.
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in
Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky
University. Her poems, short stories,
articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her
published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When
not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in