the bird that sang in color book

The Bird that Sang in Color, Novel Review

Author Grace Mattioli

Thank you to author Grace Mattioli for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for this honest review.

The Bird that Sang in Color is a slice of life family drama that follows Donna as she navigates achieving the life she thought she wanted while seeing her brother Vincent follow a different path.

Donna is part of a big Italian American family and is brought up to believe getting married and having the house and the children are the biggest goals she should have in life. She believes this and makes it happen pretty early in her life. As the book goes on she learns all of the reasons that living for someone else is never all it’s cracked up to be.

She has a strong relationship with her brother Vincent. He’s a bit of an intellectual drifter. You know the type, dabbles in many different fields but never perfects any of them. Barely holds on to a meaningless job while persuing their hobbies with far more motivation. Donna is always pushing him to make any of these hobbies a career and to become “successful.”

We see the importance of not judging what makes someone else happy, especially when the values you project aren’t even making yourself happy. Basically don’t throw stones in glass houses and all that.

And that’s what The Bird the Sang in Color comes down to, idioms and words of wisdom that we’ve all heard a thousand times before. The novel lacks both conflict and plot, relying solely on character archetypes to drive its derivative messages home.

It gives us such poignant morals as happiness only comes from within, you never really know what someone is going through, tell people how you feel about them before they die, and all of the basic truisms that are important but not at all ground breaking.

The Bird that Sang in Color does not take any risks. It appears to be grounded in the author’s own experiences and quite possible works very well as a form of catharsis for what were certainly traumatic experiences in her own view. However, on the page and in light of the issues so many of us face today or in our own pasts the issues presented in the book seem watered down and gutless. Perhaps in an attempt to remain as relatable as possible the conflicts got pushed to the background, leaving the forground for silly judgements and vague allusions to something deeper.

The writing itself is simple and at times too intimate. The narrator randomly addresses the reader directly which comes off as an immature diary entry more than a serious novel for an adult audience.

Many readers may find The Bird that Sang in Color to be a relatable tale of typical family drama. A drama that mirrors their own relatively privileged lives where families stay connected and the alcoholics are all functional. To those readers, enjoy.

3/5 birds 🐦🐦🐦

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