Kindle Edition Í Nightingales Nest PDF/EPUB Ò

Nightingales Nest this is a beautiful story about friendship and redemption little john tries to make it right by gayle and his family it is also a story about religion and God i do enjoy this book but not floor by it This book just did not appeal to me Little John's life is so painful his father is such a hideous character his mother is absent there is horrible fear of what Mr King did with Gayle other than record her voice the foster family is wretched none of this is mitigated by Gayle's magical flight at the story's conclusion Ashamed truly that I am just now reading this Nikki gave me this book when we first met several years ago at conference in Texas She is a delightful person and I'm pleased to say that we've become friends I think that was partially why I didn't read the book though What if that nice funny woman I met wrote a bad book? Also in my defense right after I got it we began to remodel our basement so that I could have an office and this and many other books that would end up on my built in bookshelves went into boxes for a while But suddenly the other day I saw it and went Good heavens I really must read it And oh glory I'm so glad I did What a gorgeous book So beautifully and simply written so heartfelt and wonderful I smiled I was tense and I cried over the ending This holds up both as a modern retelling of The Nightingale and holds its own as an excellent middle grade story about grief and forgiveness Review first posted on Views from the Tesseract I first heard about this book I couldn’t wait to read it A middle grade fantasy with gorgeous cover art and a story that references Hans Christian Andersen’s ”The Nightingale“? That’s a surefire way to piue my interest Sometimes this backfires on me and my high hopes just don’t live up to the actual text But after reading this I’m happy to report it exceeded expectationsTwelve year old Little John is spending his summer in Texas working for his father clearing brush and trees from Mr King’s property While he’s working he hears someone singing–and he’s astonished to find the sweet voice to a little girl hiding out in a tree Young Gayle is something rare in Little John’s life a bit of happiness in a life that has become shadowed by regret and loss This half wild girl sees Little John as her protector someone she’s willing to trust and share her secrets with Secrets like the magic of her healing song But Little John’s family is struggling to survive and when Mr King makes Little John an offer he’ll have to choose between helping his family and betraying his new friend This is a story of growing up and the weight of responsibility A story of beauty and the price of betrayal A story of magic and hopeIf you’re not familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Nightingale“ you might want to look it up prior to reading this story–but it’s not strictly necessary Nikki Loftin uses the fairy tale imagery and elements evoking echoes of the tale but composes a contemporary story all her own As you might already guess from the summary and the fact that it draws on Andersen this isn’t an easy story to read When the story opens Little John and his family are already suffering from deep pain and loss Little John is lost separated from the boyhood he had but nowhere near becoming a man When magic comes into his life it comes in the form of a waif of a girl who can sing with astonishing beauty and is in need of a friend and protector It’s a hard story to read you can see the betrayals on the horizon and the bitter choices that Little John will make But it is also a beautiful story tinged with redemption and hope for a better dayThoughtful tween readers who enjoy a powerful story with a bittersweet ending will want to pick this one up It’s a rare and beautiful treasure lightly brushed with magickay nielsenhans christian andersenthe nightingalemedNote An advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia Twelve year old John Fischer Jr or Little John as he’s always been known is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business clearing brush for Mr King the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him He follows the melody and finds not a bird but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall syca tree There’s something magical about this girl Gayle especially her soaring singing voice and Little John’s friendship with Gayle uickly becomes the one bright spot in his life for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sister’s death and his parents’ ever tightening financial difficulties But then Mr King draws Little John into an impossible choice—forced to choose between his family’s survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story Nightingale's Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice This is going to be one of those times when I read a book that everyone else seems to love and I just don't get it Riddled with sadness and ambiguity I didn't truly enjoy the story at all The closest I could come to liking this book was appreciating that author Nikki Loftin created something unusual and touching There's a lot of good stuff here but it didn't come together in a meaningful way for this reader The writing was only so so and the symbolism heavy handed Still here we goLittle John is a boy in a lamentable situation His little sister recently died in a tragic accident He's estranged from his best friend because he's too proud to admit that his family is nearing poverty and falling apart Little John's teachers make him feel stupid his mother makes him feel invisible and his father treats him like a hired hand Enter a mysterious new girl who's taken in as a foster child by the awful Cutlin family in the same small town where Little John lives She calls herself Gayle though the Cutlins insist her name is Suzie She reminds Little John of his sister because she's small and feisty but her most marked characteristic is her beyond beautiful singing voice and belief in her own magical abilities Little John and Gayle become friends He tries to protect her and at the same time can't resist extorting her for money that his family desperately needs The villain here is Mr King the richest man in town Known by town folk as The Emperor Mr King is obsessed with recording Gayle's voice to add to his collection His villainous ualities are ambiguous though Gayle fears him and is traumatized by his presence but why? We don't exactly know She says he's like a crow Little John has a built in reason to loathe King his father is employed by Mr King and resents him for being haughty and rich The plot is driven by something you know is going to happen even though it seems so unlikely Gayle makes Little John promise to protect her tree and her nest because she believes her parents will use these as beacons to find her but it's somehow inevitable that Little John will break his promise It also seemed inevitable to me that Little John would redeem himself Just a few other details to mention 1 Little John lives five miles from Mr King and the Cutlins In the heat of summer he runs those five miles ten round trip so many times At first it's portrayed as a difficult journey for Little John but then it becomes something he just does without comment I thought this was convenient for the plot and not very believable 2 It also bothered me that Raelynn's death was set up as a something the family still needed to deal with but in the end they went around the issue instead of through it 3 I'm not a fan of stories that end with poor people conveniently coming into a lot of money and voila Everything's better Also view spoilerit would've made sense for Mr King to leave all his money to Gayle instead of Little John It's like Gayle was a just a tool that Little John controlled I would've liked to understand the relationship between Gayle and Mr King better hide spoiler Within a few pages of this book I could feel the emotion of the story There are some books that you just know will touch you and will make you feel Loftin's Nightingale's Nest is certainly one of them The writing in this book is spectacular and demands to be read not only silently but aloud to a whole group This is a book that I found myself thinking about reading it to a class and discussing it with them I do not feel this way about all books Additionally there is a timeless uality to this story Though there are some things that hint at a present day world much of the story could pass for any time There is a classic feel to the storyLittle John and his grieving family The Emperor or Mr King and his greed Gayle and her song The Cutlins Gayle's foster family Ernest and his sister Isabelle Such great characters and everyone plays a role in this story My favorite linesYou can'treally fix all the hurt things in the world That's not your job GayleShe sighed that broken sound again I know it's notBut I heard Gayle's voice as I left five words that stayed with me the rest of that week It's not your job eitherHurt loss forgiveness healing and all the decisions and conseuences that build on one another Just powerful A uniue example of magical realism for middle grades that manages to ground itself in authentic emotions and the too rarely seen reality of poverty Little John is an entirely sympathetic conflicted character forced to make tough decisions and worrying too much about grown up problems While the adults in his life seem to fail him they all have hidden complexity and even the Emperor vaccilates between appearing evil and pitiable And Gale steers away from being too angelic full of all the pouts and personality of a real young child The blend of magic and reality is well balanced and this reader had no trouble believing in the few magical elements I found the rather tidy ending to be in keeping with the fairy tale sensibility This is a world that needs a bit of magic While the story overall centers on financial struggles the lingering effects of tragedy and loss and the sometimes harsh reality of life even for children Little John and Gale's connection the still strong strands of old friendships the concern and assistance that comes from neighbors and the magic of Gale's escape keep the story ultimately hopeful and uplifting Original and thought provoking Chelsea This book was beautiful and disturbing The first time Little John hears Gayle singing he describes The notes were high and liuid a honey soft river of sound that seeped right through me I stopped when I heard the first notes and just stood there dropping cedar cuttings at my feet The song sailed over the fence like it was meant for me alone Little John is helping his dad with his business by cutting and removing Pecan trees at a rich man's house dubbed The Emperor when Little John hears Gayle singing next door She's the same age as his younger sister who just died in an accident Gayle is a foster kid that is abused by her foster brother Jeb Cutlin and his mom Mrs Verlie Cutlin Gayle hides in a nest that she built in a tree and sings to keep from despairing She believes her parents can only find her in the nest Little John and the Cutlin's live in poverty and life is difficult at home for Little John His mom cannot accept her daughter's death and is not functioning on all cylinders His dad drinks away his pain until he is in a stupor When Little John makes a series of devastating mistakes he must decide between betraying his friendship with Gayle or saving his family from losing their homespoilers shucks I can't seem to write a review without spoilersI don't read any reviews or the blurb before reading a book I don't want to be prejudiced in any way I loved the magical realism and fairy tale link to Hans Christian Anderson's Nightingale It wasn't until the Emperor called his tape recorder a cage that I remembered the story and started to see the connections between the two The reader first knows that Gayle's voice heals when she sings and the cut on Little John's hand heals Later when she heals a deer that is near death the reader knows that this story is part fairy tale Because of this the ending worked for me with Gayle's transformationGayle can't heal everyone but she does make an impact on Little John and his dad the latter smiling for the first time in ten months after he hears her sing Mrs Cutlin and Jeb are immune to Gayle's singing suggesting they are beyond curing The characters are not completely one dimensional villains Jeb will vacillate between being a bully and showing glimmers of his humanity The Emperor wants Gayle's voice for purely selfish reasons Gayle said she could fix Little John inside Gayle brings healing just like the Nightingale in Hans Christian Andersen's story But this suggests that Gayle heals Little John by forgiving him; thus allowing him to forgive himself for hurting Gayle and causing his sister's accident that killed herWhile Little John's family does not live in extreme poverty they are poor and struggling at not making enough money to pay the rent The death and funeral expenses of his sister has wiped out any savings and Nikki Loftin not only shows how poverty effects Little John's family decisions but leads to insecurity powerlessness and susceptibility to violence in the community Little John wants to do the right thing but his family needs the money so badly that he intentionally breaks his promise to Gayle of never cutting down her tree or nest of refuge In addition Little John is so ashamed of his family's poverty that he breaks off his friendship with his best friend ErnestThe author presents some of the ugliness resulting in people's desperate need for money from the bruises on Gayle's arms and face to the whipping that Little John gets from his dad The Cutlins take in foster children for the money only not because they want to help or nurture children When Little John gets beaten with a belt his father doesn't ask Little John's side of the story; he is just angry about the money and believes the Emperor's side of the story Money is always the priority for these desperate families; at the expense of character and doing the right thing Later the mom asks the dad why he's so hard on the boy and in a heartbreaking explanation the dad says it is the only way he knows how to parent The physical abuse and harsh discipline might disturb some younger readers but it is explained after the fact and there is no descriptive violence I was most bothered by the Emperor coming across as a pedophile He isn't but the situation captures the difficulty of knowing when it is appropriate to take action as an adult or child Little John should have talked to his dad about his suspicions He does talk to the dad about the bruises on Gayle's arm and the dad agrees to let Little John spend time with Gayle Even the adults don't take the right actions Of course his dad's job depends on him treading carefully and his dad can't cope with his daughter's death much less whether or not his employer is a pedophileLittle John struggles with the definition of saving people and being a man He wants to atone for his mistake of causing his sister's death by saving Gayle but realizes that he can't save her He wants to protect Gayle from the Emperor the Cutlins and loss but he fails miserably for the most part The adults force him to compromise his morals for money from the Emperor threatening to take away his father's job to his dad telling him to cut down Gayle's tree to save them from eviction Ironically Gayle loses her nest home at the expense of Little John keeping his The Cutlins use stolen money to have Gayle's tree removed for a garden that will feed them There is a cycle of violence surrounding money by the adults that disregards the feelings of Little John and Gayle and even Jeb One reason Jeb is a bully is to try and have some power in his powerless life This lack of authority reflects the nature of childhood However Little John realizes that he can make small differences when he stands up to the Emperor He had no power over me He looked broken kneeling there As broken as Gayle As broken as my dadLittle John wonders what it is like to be a man and thinks of his dad and poverty and Gayle He knows that his dad scrapes and bows to the Emperor even though he dislikes him He doesn't want to be that way but is forced to because his family needs a home He knows that the only person who can give him work is the Emperor However when he asks for work the Emperor asks him to have Gayle sing for him again The first time he did this Gayle lost her voice and was devastated Little John was ashamed that he used his friendship with Gayle to make her sing for the Emperor who gave him 500 When the Emperor asks a second time Little John stands up to him and does what he should have done the first time He says he won't have Gayle hurt again Little John wants to protect Gayle and while he is able to stand up to Jeb his peer throughout the novel he learns how to stand up to powerful adults even if it means loss of money or home for his family or a whipping In a nice scene that foreshadows the resolution Little John tells Gayle she can't fix all the hurts and she says neither can he In a beautiful parable called The Treasure Nest at the end Little John describes Gayle's singing that symbolizes him as a tree and her as a bird They are both broken but find beauty in friendship and protection Gayle teaches that Treasures don't come from the store Little John A subplot on Little John's friendship troubles with Ernest shows that he has learned that friendship is a treasure and that true friends forgive the mistakes of othersTree stumps symbolize Little John's whose nicknamed Tree by Gayle growth internally When Little John cuts down Gayle's tree he gets sick over his betrayal of their friendship He muses over the leftover stump a symbol of their injured friendship The tree has not been completely dug up or burnt suggesting there is time to salvage the friendship In another instance Little John looks at a different tree stump that is in their yard the one that killed his sister and it painfully reminds him of her and how he caused her death when he jumped from the tree and his sister imitated him breaking her neck in the fall His memories slowly turn from hating trees and himself to forgiveness He is responsible for her death and must find a way to forgive his mistake He's like the stumps Broken and cut to the core but from his friendship with Gayle the singing nightingale he can begin to heal Little John looks at situations with a raw honesty that is moving and memorable He refreshingly takes responsibility for his actions and admits when he is wrong Forgiveness is a strong theme in this novel Even the Emperor asks for Gayle's forgiveness although he loses his voice as a conseuence of his actions When Little John climbs the tree to give Gayle the nest he made with his hair he shows someone of great character that is willing to face his fears and live life in a positive wayThe writing is gorgeous in this book She nodded her head bobbling like a heavy sunflower on a too narrow stalk and edged out a bit on the branch Her feet were bare and dirty Her toes were a thin as the rest of her and kind of long she used them to clutch the branch she was on just like a baby bird would The contrast between poverty of the characters and the beauty of the singing helped balance what could have been a dark depressing book The author also shows the community trying to help Little John's family during their troubles by bringing them dinners and showing kindness Amidst the desperation hope shines forth This rich and complex book has the elements of an award winner that sings Don't miss it I think I just get too grumpy about magical realism maybe I really liked the realistic parts of this really powerful look at a family being torn apart by grief and poverty but view spoilerlike was she an angel or a bird or WHAT just like why?? Also what was Mr King DOING to her? Were we supposed to be reading it as sexual abuse because that was the vibe I got? But also NOT that? hide spoiler

About the Author: Nikki Loftin

Nikki Loftin is the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy which Publishers Weekly called mesmerizing and Kirkus called irresistible and Nightingale's Nest which received a starred review from Kirkus She lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin Texas surrounded by dogs goats and small loud boys Nikki is a graduate of the University of Texas at

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