"Laura Jacobs is an urban miniaturist. In her sleek, pitch-perfect second novel, The Bird Catcher
, she lavishes delectable attention on the
subtle distinctions wrought by taste, class, money, and style in the city on which she trains her eagle eye. But there is nothing diminutive in her vision:
Under the force of her piercing, halogen-bright gaze, the world cracks open, large and luminous. . . . One of this novel's keenest pleasures is watching Margret's
transformation from passive spectator to active creator, one who takes the raw, messy leavings of grief and wrestles them into art.
No minor feat, this, and without sounding a single wrong note, Jacobs orchestrates her character's sonata as expansively and dramatically as a
symphony whose strains linger on, long after the last page has been turned."
. . . [The Bird Catcher
] is a novel of observation, a novel that swoops and soars in its dizzy flights to worlds you never imagined,
a novel about catching life on the wing (and occasionally in mid crawl). Charles calls the wood thrush "the John Cage of birds."
The Bird Catcher
is the wood-thrush song of novels — in Jacobs's words, "Improvised, vaulted, and green."
—The Boston Phoenix
"A captivating story about the way the rough, lonely road back from loss often sets a bereaved person apart from others.
The Bird Catcher
is also an ode to Manhattan. . . .[A] sweet, sad, odd, fine little novel."
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Told with understated compassion and painful realism, Margret's story of purpose, loss, and self re-discovery catches one off guard.
It is well-paced, well-written, and fearless . . . The Bird Catcher
delivers a memorable, authentic story."
—The Englewood Review of Books
"Jacobs' incisive writing captures her charcters moods, while her graceful description of the birds that inspire her protagonist illuminate the story."
"Both author and character share a birder's (and an artist's) mind. . . . Read this fine novel, even if books about Manhattan society aren't your 'thing'; it is full of treasures."
— Living Bird
"In her second novel, The Bird Catcher
, celebrated dance critic and V.F. contributing editor Laura Jacobs firmly establishes herself as
one of our most astute and elegant observers of a certain rarefied species of female Manhattanite. With an ear trained to capture the nuances of dialogue
like birdsong — the trilling of New York galleristas, the call and response between husband and wife — Jacobs records the flight paths of a 31-year-old
fledgling artist, Margret Snow, from her regular weekend country-home migrations to bird-watching trips with her academic husband in
Central Park, and from a wonderfully shocking detour into the art-world spotlight to her own success. An enchanting tick for the Reader's Life List."
— Vanity Fair, by Elissa Schappell, author of
Use Me, and founding editor
of the literary journal,
"Jacobs explores, with pitch-perfect accuracy, both the surface layer of contemporary urban life and the wild, almost dumb depths of the psyche,
where humans confer with birds, and where art, myth, and fairy tale are born. Margret, the book's grieving heroine, will haunt readers long after her
compulsively readable story has come to an end."
— Elizabeth Kendall, author of
Autobiography of a Wardrobe
"Laura Jacobs mesmerizes with her haunting prose and thoroughly engrossing subject matter.
The Bird Catcher
is one of those reads you cannot put down, or forget once you have finished."
— Amy Scheibe, author of
What Do You Do All Day?
"Birds are transformed into art in this wise novel of rebirth, but they are also transformative — people are brought back to imaginative and
spiritual life through contact with them, and part of the magic of this urban story is that it has its roots deep in the mystery of the natural world."
— Jonathan Rosen, author of
The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature