Little Bird of Heaven
Joyce Carol Oates
Ecco, Sep 15 2009, $25.99
In 1983 in Sparta, New York Zoe Kruller and Eddy Diehl are having an affair. She is a gentle beauty while he is kick butt tough guy. All is great between these opposites until her young son Aaron finds her murdered body. The police hone in on the two male adults in Zoe’s life, her spouse and her lover.
Five years after the homicide, the police arrive at Eddy’s home. He refuses to cooperate and instead challenges the cops even as his horrified daughter Krista watches the macabre event as if it is a movie scene. He is shot down in what is called a suicide; case closed as far as the cops and the people of Sparta are concerned, but not the survivors. Instead their respective offspring are traumatized by events, but though they try to move on separately, neither can. Then they meet.
LITTLE BIRD OF HEAVEN is a fabulous character study that looks deep at the offspring generation surviving a tragedy. Krista tells the tale, which focuses on psychological defense mechanism employed by her (denial her father might have done the deed) and by him (denial that his mom was having an affair). Neither is able to move past the respective defining moments in their lives, seeing the corpse of a parent who had a violent death. Fans will relish prolific author Joyce Carol Oates’s latest psychological suspense as Krista and Aaron meet each other and the ghosts they carry inside their hearts.