Title: Silhouette of a Sparrow
Author: Molly Beth Griffin
Published: August 13th, 2013
If you’re like Isa, all I need to say about this book is “lesbian flapper romance”. If you’re not, well, Silhouette of a Sparrow is the story of Garnet, a sixteen-year old girl living in America during the Roaring Twenties. Garnet loves birds and wants to study ornithology, but she has to settle for cutting their silhouettes on paper — the only bird-related activity that her mother considers appropriate for a young girl. Her mother wants Garnet to marry, but she’s not one of those dreadful book parents who try to force their offspring into a loveless match just to create conflict. A marriage is pretty much the only way Garnet can have financial stability, and she knows that. She goes to stay in the country with her dad’s cousin and decides to make the most of it, knowing that once she goes back her boyfriend will propose, and she’ll say yes.
That’s where the book starts. It goes on to describe Garnet, her paper birds, her wish to visit the amusement park despite the prohibition from her oppressive guardian… and then the chance meeting with a young dancer, Isabella, which throws all of Garnet’s plans and ideas for the future into disarray. The story is lovely and has a dreamlike quality that immediately drew me in. I don’t know how to describe it precisely, the closest I can say is: I read this book in the middle of winter but it felt as if it was a lazy summer afternoon and I was on the lake with Garnet and Isabella.
The ending is unexpected and bittersweet, but quite perfect, and that’s all I can say without spoiling it. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who’s looking for good, non-porn LGBT books. (Not that there’s anything wrong with porn. But there’s a dearth of good LGBT books for teens.) And it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours! That always pleases me.