Cry of an Osprey by Angie Vancise

“Cry of an Osprey” by Angie Vancise is, in summary, an enthusiastic roller-coaster. Although the principal topic seems to be an alternative love story, this is only the backdrop for a more prominent picture to which each reader can associate to a certain degree. It is a novel about family ties, solidarity and missing a loved one.

At the centre of the story holds Jax Vanbeerman who only at the age of 47 suffers a stroke. This is the trigger that blends a dispersed family, a current and an ex-lover and many more people to bestow a couple of torturous days in close quarters. At which point there is a transient bifurcation, on one hand, we are in the present close to Jax in the hospital together with the beloved ones, but also in history, reliving memories of the good old times. It is in this manner of remembrance that anxiety creeps in as characters wonder about alternate decisions and actions, about what could have been. In fact, as Jax fades away from the living, he grows ever more powerful in the hearts and memories of the people who admired him. Conceivably this is the most significant lesson of the book.

One of the striking stylistic features of the novel is the way the author takes. She empowers the readers to learn about Jax only through other characters; his sister Amelia and ex-lover Ben. Each chapter is exhibited from the perspective of one or the other as we regularly get more familiar and close to them. Jax depicts the overlap between two very diverse people and stories; it is exciting to explore the several sides of him, but also the constants in his character from the viewpoint of the most influential people in his life.

The book should appeal to a wide audience especially since the story is told from the perspective of both genders, but most of all because of the issues it relates. It is about much more than an alternative lifestyle, the LGBT community and their exertion, it reaches toward the colourful span of human relationships, disasters, and solidarity. Nonetheless, it must be said that the novel does contain some explicit content and language therefore it is not suitable for readers of all ages. All in all, Angie Vancise’s debut novel “Cry of an Osprey” is a very particular piece with a powerful gravitational pull. There are many unique aspects to mention, but above all it is the honesty and vulnerability that seduces the reader and compels him/her resonate with the characters. Also, the book cover is designed by the author herself covering her writing into a purple haze.

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