Book Review: "Seeing Things" by Patti Hill
Birdie Wainwright, 72, isn’t concerned about seeing things that others can’t. For a woman who still climbs mountains with her dog (Miss Bee Haven) and likes to tango, the impractical visions brought on by macular degeneration are just another gift from God, adding more adventure to life. But when a tumble down the stairs breaks her ankle and leads back to her son’s home in Denver where she must convalesce, Birdie’s imagination really takes flight. Following a conversation with her grandson about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, she begins to see and speak with the unkempt literary character himself on a regular basis. As the line between reality and whimsy turns brittle, faith is tested among friends and loved ones, and hope is reborn.
Who hasn't had an imaginary friend that used to talk to when they were little? Even now, sometimes the characters you create in your head are better company to keep than the real people you have to interact with on a daily basis. That's what life is like for Birdie as she finds that it's easier to communicate with Huckleberry Finn than with her son and his wife. That is a literary character that would be great to have a conversation with. I love how their conversations mostly consist of Birdie being able to confide and share her thoughts with Huck just sitting there listening. It's the best situation ever!
I found the relationship between Birdie and her son and his family to very interesting to the story. I felt that this relationship is the epitome of elderly parents and their children who aren't sure how to take care of them. Their reactions and attitudes towards each other were very realistic and it touches at the heart for those who have been in this situation. What I liked best was how the author portrayed Birdie. She's not shown as a cranky elderly person who thinks that her way is the best way. She loves her grandson very much and wants to make everything right for him. Her relationship with her son is rocky and is even more so with his wife. However she tries to do her best to keep the peace even though it's very difficult for her.
My only complaint is that it's very slow for about halfway through the book. It takes a while to really get into the story. It's not boring, there's just a lot of that you have to see through Birdie's eyes first before delving deeper. This book is not a fast read, but it's one to savor. I feel that it will touch many readers and pull some heartstrings. Perfect for a lazy fall's day.
Seeing Things by Patti Hill is published by B & H Publishing (2009)