The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald4 out of 5 stars
I’ve heard that it took Ann-Marie years to complete The Way the Crow Flies. After the first 50 pages, I understood why. It was obvious that an immense amount of research and thought had gone into this book. It had themes and history that made me curious. And it made me stop and think many times about the peculiarities of the way humans interact.
Ann-Marie’s keen observation skills are evident in the way she meticulously depicts each main character through their dialogue and descriptions of their thought processes. She is particularly precise when she describes the world through the eyes of a child so vividly. Many adults lose the ability to hold onto how they interacted with the world as a child, but Ann-Marie nailed it. This kind of observation is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced to get it to the exceptional point it was in The Way the Crow Flies.
She also delved deep into the history of the Cold War and WWII and found unique historical events that the average person probably hasn’t learned about. Weaving these events into the plot of the story gave it an intriguing edge over other historical fictions I have read because I felt like I was learning about these two wars for the first time.
Aside from the time it took to make sure the story was historically accurate and to skillfully make the characters come to life, it could not have been easy, and probably took the most time, to write about the uncomfortable and gruesome plot points that were a main part of the book. These three things alone would be no easy feat to get right, but doing all three things and doing them extraordinarily well makes Ann-Marie a stand out author and The Way the Crow Flies a stand out book for me this year.