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The Bower Bird (Gussie) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Kelley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £4.91 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Winner of the 2007 Costa award

This title continues the story of Gussie, a precocious young girl diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Despite her health problems, she is determined to live life to the fullest, experiencing typical adolescent woes such as love and strained relations with her parents. Never complaining, she offers a direct and honest insight about herself and the world around her, bringing this poignant, charming and oddly optimistic tale to life.

REVIEWS
'Brilliant' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

'I'm pleased to be able to announce that Gussie has lived to see another day with Kelley capturing so beautifully Gussie's optimism and hope.' SUE BAKER'S PERSONAL CHOICE, PUBLISHING NEWS

'The world of life and death, beauty and truth seen through the eyes of a 12 year old girl. A rare and beautiful book of lasting quality - we felt this is a voice that needs to be heard and read.' COSTA AWARD JUDGES

'It's a lovely book - lyrical, funny, full of wisdom. Gussie is such a dear - such a delight and a wonderful character, bright and sharp and strong, never to be pitied for an instant.' HELEN DUNMORE, author of 'Ingo'

BACK COVERGussie is twelve years old, loves animals and wants to be a photographer when she grows up. The only problem is that she's unlikely to ever grown up.

'I had open heart surgery last year, when I was eleven, and the healing process hasn't finished yet. I now have an amazing scar that cuts me in half almost, as if I have survived a shark attack'.

Gussie needs a heart and lung transplant, but the donor list is as long as her arm and she can't wait around that long. Gussie has things to do; finding her ancestors, coping with her parents' divorce and keeping an eye out for the wildlife in her garden.


Product Description

Review

'Brilliant' --Mail on Sunday

The world of life and death, beauty and truth seen through the eyes of a 12 year old girl. A rare and beautiful book of lasting quality - we felt this is a voice that needs to be heard and read.' --Costa Award Judges

'It's a lovely book - lyrical, funny, full of wisdom. Gussie is such a dear - such a delight and a wonderful character, bright and sharp and strong, never to be pitied for an instant.' --HELEN DUNMORE, author of 'Ingo'.

About the Author

Ann Kelley is a photographer and prize-winning poet who once nearly played cricket for Cornwall. She has previously published a collection of poems and photographs, a book of photos of St Ives families and an audio book of cat stories. She lives with her second husband and several cats on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall where they have survived a flood, a landslip, a lightning strike and the roof blowing off. She runs courses for medics and has spoken about her work with patients at several medical conferences. She also runs courses for aspiring poets at her home. Her book The Burying Beetle was published by Luath Press in May 2005 and was short-listed for the prestigious Branford Boase Award for 'an outstanding first novel to a first-time writer of a book for young people.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 905 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press; Adult Ed edition (1 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909912492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909912496
  • ASIN: B00EN8OUNS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ann Kelley left her convent high school at 17, married at 18 and had two children. She is now a novelist, poet and photographer and lives on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall with her second husband and two cats. After surviving several winter disasters including being struck by lightning they now move to the town during the worst of the weather, to live next door to her daughter and grandchildren. Ann has had several books published including two poetry collections, two books of photographs, and an audio book of cat stories and the novels The Burying Beetle, Bower Bird, and Inchworm. She has won several awards including the Costa Children's Book of the Year for Bower Bird. Her books Koh Tabu and Dark Eden are published by Oxford University Press.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy Costa winner 5 Mar. 2008
By AJ
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most beautiful and evocative novels I have read in a long time. Gussie's honesty and naivity, her simple desire to live her life to the full, is powerful and captivating. She is precocious and engaging. This is a worthy winner of the Costa Children's Award, but do not be put off, this is a book that will appeal to adults and children a like. Gussie's narrative voice shows a candour that would spark a smile in any hardened grown-up. I think Gussie's zest for life can teach many people a thing or two about living.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem, poetic and beautiful 17 Oct. 2007
By Suzie
Format:Paperback
I was attracted to this little book by the grainy, almost melancholy monochrome cover - the sea and a lowering sky - and then noted the recommendation by Helen Dunmore. I'm a fan of Helen Dunmore so decided to see what was inside.

I liked the writing - poetic, with beautiful descriptions. For instance, on the first page of Chapter One, 'The lights of the little town are twinkling below me, and there is a nearly full moon - its blue-white wedding veil draped across the bay.' I love descriptions like that, so I bought the book.

The narrator is Gussie Stevens, a twelve-year suffering from a congenital heart condition from which she will die unless she undergoes major surgery - a heart/lung transplant. But will the organs become available in time? It sounds morbid and depressing, and nearly put me off buying the book, but it isn't like that at all. It's a gem of a book, bright, positive, and amusing. As Helen Dunmore says, Gussie is a wonderful character. She has an infectious zest for life (although at times I wondered if she seemed rather more mature and better informed than a twelve-year-old would be). And in the early chapters I began to wonder if her interactions with her three cats and their interactions with each other were going to become rather tedious. But they didn't. Gussie's observations on her mother's new relationship, on her parents' failed relationship, on the beautiful, flirty girl who seems to have attracted Gussie's own special friend Brett, and on life in general, are a delight to read. I really felt I knew her, and it seemed very important that she live.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting! 11 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ann Kelley does it again as Gussie grows up before our eyes and shares her life and loves with us through her charming narrative. I was there with Gussie and her family and friends as she enters adolescence and comes nearer to her much awaited transplant. I walked the streets of 1990 St Ives with her, heard the seagulls, met her neighbours, shared her hopes and dreams... Again I was left wanting more at the end of this book and was delighted to discover yet another book available (Inchworm) which I can't wait to start.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More for a teenage reader. 18 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gussie the main character is very loveable and has lots of friends because of her warm personality. The reader forgets how ill she is as her attitude to life is so positive. I just felt the book was more suited to teenage readers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Teenage book 24 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this was an adults' book as it was recommended to me, but its really a read for teenagers. Hvaing said that its a new area to cover and its an engaging if light read.
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