Unlike their black-billed cousins, yellow–billed magpies are rarely found outside California’s central valley. So when they begin showing up in Samantha O’Malley’s dreams, she wonders: are they calling me home?
Disappointed by failed fertility treatments and the break-up of her marriage, Samantha returns to her home town and slips into old habits, resuming her teaching career, even hooking up with an old lover. But she also renews her friendship with Craig, the school custodian she honors as her spiritual guide. The work they do together with Samantha’s special education students will lead her to discoveries she never thought possible.
Yellow–Billed Magpie is a love story, a spiritual journey, a quest to look beyond appearances to the mystical rhythms that guide the human heart.
If you venture onto my review policy, you will see that I have a condition that makes reading difficult. My eyes dart all over the page and I constantly reread the same section.
Now I bet you are wondering what that has to do with my review on Yellow-Billed Magpie, but I promise that this has everything to do with my review. Due to what I have with my eyes, I find reading books difficult as a single paragraph can spread pages in some books and reduce me to a shaking wreck with a migraine. With Yellow-Billed Magpie, I had none of these issues. I didn’t even have to use my reading ruler which is a relief for me as it means I can take the book out with me without fear of losing my reading ruler because they aren’t exactly cheap when you have no money. The book has been formatted very well; it is a dream to read for someone like me who struggles with this simple skill. The double space between every paragraph makes the novel a lot easier and a lot quicker to read as it is more difficult for my eyes to dart around in a very short paragraph.
When I first received my copy of Yellow-Billed Magpie, I was a little confused by the cover. The cover doesn’t exactly reveal anything about the novel, making it a book difficult to judge by its cover. Which let’s be honest from a writer’s perspective is a good thing. Though I do like the cover, bar the fact it specifies the fact it is a novel, but that is just a personal preference. I can understand why it specifies novel as the title can sound like it is a non-fiction book about Yellow-Billed Magpies.
I found the plot of the novel a little difficult to follow but it is a beautifully written book. Nancy Schoellkopf really knows how to work the English Language. Actually on Nancy’s writing, her penmanship is beautiful, she wrote on the first page of my copy of the book thanking me for welcoming her onto my blog and her cursive is truly beautiful.
Now back to what I was saying about the plot. When I was reading the novel, I never read the book on its own; I was reading other books and writing my own novel at the same time which meant I was accidentally mixing up the plots on occasion.
I very much enjoyed the character of Samantha. She was someone I was able to connect with straight away. Members of my family have been in Samantha’s shoes at some point and in some form over the years, so it was nice to see them combined in one character for a change.
Would I recommend Yellow-Billed Magpie to a friend?
Give that I have already put the novel in my mum’s reading pile; I can safely say that I would whole heartedly recommend it.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Yellow-Billed Magpie for use in a blog review. All opinions are my own.
Buy the book: Amazon
Nancy Schoellkopf has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full-time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cat, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends.