Friday, December 14, 2012

A Redbird Christmas

Finished A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. Oswald T. Campbell is a 52 year old man with advanced emphysema. His doctor tells him has about a year to live and that he should spend it some place warm. He hands him a yellowed and water stained brochure for a health resort in Lost River, Alabama. Trying to get in touch with the resort, Oswald calls around and makes contact with a citizen of the area who is setting up a potluck at the community hall. She informs him that the resort closed long ago, but he could come down anyway, she will find him a room he can rent. Oswald leaves his cold, dull, gray life in Chicago behind and heads south.

The tiny community of Lost River is filled with interesting characters. One of the most interesting is Jack, a cardinal, that injured as a hatchling, was raised by Roy who runs the general store. Jack lives at the store, greeting and teasing customers, running on his wheel and ringing his little bird bells. When a six year old orphan named Patsy becomes enamored of the bird, the whole town gets involved with making a happier life for Patsy, an effort which in turn changes many other lives for the better.

The book reminded me of The Song of the Cardinal, for obvious reasons. Oswald T. Campbell reminded me of Father Tim in the Mitford books, when he was still a lonely bachelor. A charming and at times hilarious holiday read.

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