Reminiscent of Jenny Offill, this book is a quiet force built on character development, humor, and the meandering ways in which people deal with grief.
Polzin deftly pulls us through a woman’s grief after miscarriage by detailing the everyday of her trying, desperately, to keep her four chickens alive during a Minnesota winter. The language is striking, a dreamlike haze coating the story as though both we and the protagonist are under a spell, just a little unfocused, a little out-of-body. It’s the exactness of it that compels you to keep reading, like the quick and soft touching of a wound you’re afraid to make too real.
– Miranda <3
An exquisite new literary voice—wryly funny, nakedly honest, beautifully observational, in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout—depicts one woman’s attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss
Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.
Intimate and startlingly original, this slender novel is filled with wisdom, sorrow and joy. As the year unfolds, we come to know the small band of loved ones who comprise the narrator’s circumscribed life at this moment. Her mother, a flinty former home-ec teacher who may have to take over the chickens; her best friend, a real estate agent with a burgeoning family of her own; and her husband whose own coping mechanisms for dealing with the miscarriage that haunts his wife are more than a little unfathomable to her.
A stunning and brilliantly insightful meditation on life and longing that will stand beside such modern classics as H is for Hawk and Gilead, Brood rewards its readers with the richness of reflection and unrelenting hope.