Love Buries a Spring Bird, by Charles Forgrave takes us back to our youth, when romance and our burgeoning sexuality was something we contemplated endlessly. Set in the gorgeous upper reaches of Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior, Cortney, who lives in the ex-fishing village and lumber town, meets up with Jackie, from the nearby city of Soo, who is staying at the lake for two weeks with her family and her best friend Ellie. Cortney and Jackie hit it off immediately and spend the rest of the holiday in each other’s company, exploring and hiking the many trails around the village as well as visiting Cortney’s special place on an island in the middle of Lake Superior. When it becomes time for Jackie and her family to return home, reality bites for the love struck pair and so begins a regular commute for Cortney as he tries to keep the relationship alive once the summer excitement has worn off.
There is much to like about this story. We’ve probably all experienced that summer romance, when we were absolutely certain of our feelings and certain of our love for our new partner, only to discover when summer ends and the day-to-day grind of live intrudes, it is much harder to keep the relationship alive. Charles Forgrave’s descriptions in, Love Buries a Spring Bird, of the beauty of the area that is known as the Upper Peninsular of Michigan, does much to endear the story to the reader. The writing style is different to any I have experienced before and may be too simplistic and repetitive for some readers, but there is a certain syncopation to the author’s lines that lifts it above prose, almost into the realm of poetry. Although the author did give his character of Cortney, the opportunity to think and ponder on bigger questions than just making love to Jackie, the character of Jackie, I felt was a little wooden and mono-syllabic. I found the few sexual scenes in the book to be almost “teenage boy jokey” and if that was what the author was aiming for (his potential Y/A audience), then he definitely hit his mark. This was a pleasant enough coming of age/teenage romance and worth a look.