Before I get to my review of On Little Wings, I think some background for my comments are in order.
When I think of literary fiction, I think back on my school days when I was required to read Of Mice and Men, The Old Man and the Sea, Lord of the Flies, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, proving whether or not these examples all qualify as literary fiction is not my purpose here. Suffice it to say, these books all did something very peculiar to me when I read them. They all created in me a deep-felt empathy for the characters in the story. They moved me.
What is literary fiction? I like the definition given by Nathan Bransford: “In literary fiction the plot usually happens beneath the surface, in the minds and hearts of the characters. Things may happen on the surface, but what is really important are the thoughts, desires, and motivations of the characters as well as the underlying social and cultural threads that act upon them.”
Nathan also said: “…literary fiction is more challenging to read than genre fiction because it requires the reader to infer a great deal of the plot rather than simply sitting back and watching the plot unfold. It requires empathy to relate to characters.”
That is EXACTLY how I would define literary fiction.
SCORE: Wikipedia=Zero Nathan Bransford=Infinity
Let’s get on with the review…
On Little Wings by Regina Sirois is a story about a young lady from Nebraska who discovers a family secret, and ends up in Maine on a very personal journey of discovery that changes not only her heart, but the hearts of everyone around her.
End of review.
Yeah. That is all you’re going to get. (Actually, that wasn’t a review. Just a simple one-line syllabus.)
You know what always irritated me about literary fiction in English class? It was the analysis of what the books. What do we learn? What was the author trying to tell us? What does it teach us about society?
I don’t have a problem with the questions. The questions should be asked. By the reader. My problem was that sometimes we are TOLD what the literary book is REALLY about. What the hidden meanings are. How society should react to the story. How we can fix our broken selves.
Not going to do that here, folks.
I’ll give it to you straight: I think the book is actually classified as YA, but in my mind, it’s Literary YA. No matter what category you put it in, this book is a jewel. The author made me feel the story . . . very deeply. I felt like I was in Maine. The prose is near perfect in the way it describes both character and setting. How I loved the characters! For you guys out there: yes, I admit, it’s a bit of a girly book. But trust me on this one, you really need to read this story, if nothing else to see how an author and poet can paint with words.
Yes, it’s that good. One of the best books I have ever read. Move over, Hemingway. This girl Regina just took your crown. THIS is literary fiction at its best.