The Bird Skinner

The Bird Skinner by Alice Greenway is really well written. The main character is a difficult, irascible ornithologist. He has had his leg amputated and is determinedly drinking himself into oblivion in his family’s house on an island off Maine. In the summer of 1973 Cadillac, the young daughter of his WWII scout partner in the Solomon Islands is sent to live with him for a month. He is a reluctant host, awash in memories and flashbacks that take the reader through the war, his marriage, and his career at the American Museum of Natural History. The novel is full of engrossing information that fits seamlessly with the plot. Highly recommended.