How do you find someone who wants to be lost? Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative-- and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family' s summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered. Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters-- a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past. In The Gravity of Birds histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.
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"This rich and complex novel could be difficult to follow in audio due to its flashbacks and numerous characters. But Cassandra Campbell is the consummate professional, and her narration guides the listener through the complicated relationships and events of the book. As children, the Kessler sisters were close, but when, as teenagers, they spend a fateful summer vacation in a lake house next door to young painter Thomas Bayber, their relationship changes forever, as does ThomasÕs life. Campbell clearly has a deep understanding of this work, and her performance imparts that understanding to her listeners. J.L.K. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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