Before Women Had Wings (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

by Connie May Fowler | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0449911446 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingKarenBCwing of Prince George, British Columbia Canada on 12/9/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingKarenBCwing from Prince George, British Columbia Canada on Friday, December 09, 2005
The back cover has a review by the Chicago Tribune that describes this book very well. "A thing of heart-rending beauty, a moving exploration of love and loss, violence and grief forgiveness and redemption.

This book is going out as a BookRay with the following mailing order:

glade1 in USA
Tenneh in USA
breeze144 in Canada
charliewendy in Australia
Mary-T in Germany
Eilan86 in Italy
SinfulWays in Austria <----end of Sept. 06 book is on the way here!
Hellie in UK
hshah in India

Journal Entry 2 by glade1 from McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Monday, January 09, 2006
Received in the mail today. It's behind a few others but I'm reading as fast as I can. More later...

Journal Entry 3 by glade1 from McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Friday, February 10, 2006
Wonderful book! While it was an easy read technically, emotionally it was a tough one. It certainly made me thankful for my loving parents.

My favorite thing about the book was how "real" it seemed. The characters were not just good or pure evil, but were human with their good and bad qualities. There were so many touching little things Bird said about her parents and things they had done (buying a stool just for her to reach the sink, making the "spring" box, sewing clothes and gifts, playing and singing and going for rides) that made the bad times even more heartbreaking. It seems they were trying to be good parents but their demons kept them from it. And even I, who have never been abused or committed abuse, can identify with Glory's misery and frustration and almost understand when sometimes it is just too much and she cracks (though I cannot condone it). There was a time when I would have condemned such a mother out of hand but nowadays I am more inclined to think, "There but for the grace of God go I." I was blessed to grow up in a loving family and am still blessed not to have to face poverty or widowhood or abuse. Who knows how I would handle it if I had to cope with all Glory has?

I admired Bird's spunk and could certainly understand her struggle between love and hate for her parents. I have seen people in that same struggle and wondered, how can they love and even defend such a parent? But this book makes that a little easier to comprehend.

The only thing that stands out as strange about the book is those miscellaneous characters that seemed to have little real purpose: the boy in the grove and Big Al, and also the Roberts boy. I can see that these characters all helped Bird learn something about herself (or in the case of the boy in the grove, led her to believe the worst about herself), but they seem oddly out of place in the story. They all appear once and then disappear, even Big Al who said "I'll be around." I felt that I was left hanging by those characters.

I believe the story itself is hopeful but it is sad to read Fowler's biographical information and the interview with her and realize that this was her life and it wasn't tied up quite as neatly as the book. But it is also heartening to see that she has risen above the bad parts of her childhood to succeed as an author.

I loved this book and will look for more of Fowler's books. Thanks very much, KarenBC, for sharing it. I have already PMed Tenneh for an address and will get this out as soon as I receive it.

Update: Mailed to Tenneh via media mail on 2-13-06.

Journal Entry 4 by tenneh from Verdon, Nebraska USA on Friday, February 17, 2006
Received today - will start it as soon as I'm done with my current read

A fantastic book but very emotional. And all the more sad to realize this was the author's life! Thanks for letting me read it.


going to Breeze144

Journal Entry 6 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 04, 2006
Arrived here today! I will be starting it as soon as I finish the book I am currently reading!

Journal Entry 7 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
This was an incredibly sad story. I realize things were different in the past, but it still breaks my heart to read about children being treated like this. I know it still happens today although we like to try to believe that things are different now. It amazes me that Bird (and Fowler) didn't lose their spirit to survive or give up on life. Sometimes for the smallest reasons I feel like giving up, but somehow people survive such horrible things and come out the other end stronger.

Overall, a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing!

Waiting for charliewendy's address to send this along.

Journal Entry 8 by Breeze144 at on Monday, March 20, 2006

Released 14 yrs ago (3/20/2006 UTC) at



Sent along to charliewendy (finally)! The delay was because it took a while to obtain an address!

Journal Entry 9 by charliewendy from Yarra Glen, Victoria Australia on Sunday, June 04, 2006
Book has arrived today after its long journey. I am in the middle of a fairly heavy book right now but will be able to start on this in a week or so.
Thanks Karen and Breeze!

Journal Entry 10 by charliewendy from Yarra Glen, Victoria Australia on Monday, June 19, 2006
This book deals with some very distressing issues without leaving the reader feeling that there is no hope. I think this is because the author has done a brilliant job of showing how ordinary people,(not monsters,)can find themselves doing despicable things. The characters are very believable, none of them are pitiful, all of them have redeeming features.
The only part I felt was not believable was when Billy brought Mr Marlow (I think that was his name) home. I can't believe any one would hire some one to do this and, having done so, bring this man home to meet the kids. I know this sounds a bit vague, but I am trying not to spoil it for those yet to read it.
Coincidentally, I have also read Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere, this year. Very similar subject matter. I am starting to wonder about those southern States?! Not indicative I hope!

I put this in the mail to Mary-T yesterday. Mary you should receive it in 7 - 10 days. Thanks to Karen for sharing and Breeze for sending.

Journal Entry 11 by Mary-T from Bretzfeld, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, June 24, 2006
I received the book yesterday.
Thanks for mailing, charliewendy! :)
Well - there are other rings here I need to read - but I promise to try to be fast...
Anyway - I'm really looking forward to read this after I took a quick look inside... ;-)

This is really a great book!
Thanks so much I got the oppertunity to meet Bird and read her story!!!
It's true it's not an easy story. (Besides it also counts for me that the written English language was really good to read)
But it still is a good book that really touched me. Apart from the fact that it does make me feel uncomfortable now and then - I do like books like that, as well as I like no happy-endings... but in fact I think this book has a happy ending... (at least it's a chance for all of them)

As soon as I get the next address, Bird will fly straight to the next destination.

Journal Entry 12 by Eilan86 on Thursday, September 07, 2006
Received yesterday
Going to read as soon as I can

Journal Entry 13 by Eilan86 on Thursday, September 07, 2006
Received yesterday
Going to read as soon as I can

Journal Entry 14 by Eilan86 on Friday, September 29, 2006
I think the author was very strong to get through all this and being able to talk about it in a book. I liked the book and how it was written.
I shipped it to sinfulways at the beginning of the week

Journal Entry 15 by SinfulWays from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Received in the post this morning and read it already. I am sending it on its way to Helli, as soon as I have her address. I will go to the post probably on Friday.

I had read stories like this before, so it was not too hard for me to read... well, i am a psychotherapist. I was an abused child myself too and had to work my own share out as well BEFORE being able to cope with anyone else's misery and being a companion in their healing process. It is not easy. What I find interesting is that people consider this a novel and read it and it has been so successful when for me it reads almost as clinical material -that is probably why i read it so fast!-. I was happy with the ending too...

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