Margret Snow is the quintessential New York woman. She dresses the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue by day and mingles in the downtown art world by night, always searching for her niche in a city intent on capturing The Next Big Thing as it flies into view. Married to Charles, a professor at Columbia, and living on the Upper West Side, the backdrop to Margret’s life is made up of the poetic rhythms and colors of the Manhattan day: slow-running buses, the gray morning light striking the Hudson, the winter landscape of Riverside Park, the endless round of gallery openings, cocktail parties and grand dinners in the palatial apartments on Manhattan’s upper east side. Against this metropolitan whirl, Margret and Charles pursue a lifelong hobby of bird watching, a passion for which was kindled by her grandfather during long-past summers near the shore in Gloucester, Massachusetts. As they shuttle between their Manhattan apartment, birding in the city's parks, and weekends out of town in their house near Cape May, a violent upheaval pushes Margret beyond the boundaries of her hobby. Overnight, she becomes an art world sensation and just as suddenly has fame ripped from her. As Laura Jacobs proved in her first novel, "Women About Town", she understands the natural habitat of the New York Woman in all its complexity. In The Bird Catcher, her second, she moves deeper into that territory with the story of a remarkable woman who is as rare and special as the birds that fill the skies above her.
Advance Praise for The Bird Catcher:
"Laura Jacobs is an urban miniaturist. In her sleek, pitch-perfect second novel, The Bird Catcher, she lavishes delectable attention on the subtle distinctions wrought by taste, class, money, and style in the city on which she trains her eagle eye. But there is nothing diminutive in her vision: Under the force of her piercing, halogen-bright gaze, the world cracks open, large and luminous. . . . One of the novel's keenest pleasures is watching Margret's transformation from passive spectator to active creator . . . No minor feat, this, and without sounding a single wrong note, Jacobs orchestrates her character's sonata as expansively and dramatically as a symphony whose strains linger on, long after the last page has been turned." --Bookforum
". . . Margret moves in rarefied Manhattan circles populated with artists, dancers, and collectors. The parties and guests glitter, conversations soar. . . . Jacobs presents a measured and compelling yet nonlinear narrative so that readers encounter Margret's life in pieces. And it is well worth the effort to get to know her. Jacobs' incisive writing captures her characters' moods, while her graceful descriptions of the birds that inspire her protagonist illuminate the story."--Booklist
"An enchanting tick for the Reader's Life List."--Vanity Fair
"Jacobs explores, with pitch-perfect accuracy, both the surface layer of contemporary urban life, and the wild, almost dumb depths of the psyche, where humans confer with birds, and where art, myth and fairytale are born. Margret, the book's grieving heroine, will haunt readers long after her compulsively readable story has come to an end."- Elizabeth Kendall, author of Autobiography of A Wardrobe and American Daughter
"Intricately detailing the lengths to which a woman must go to heal from a great loss, Laura Jacobs mesmerizes with her haunting prose and thoroughly engrossing subject matter. The Birdcatcher is one of those reads you cannot put down, nor forget once you have finished.” - Amy Scheibe, author of What Do You Do all Day?
“Birds are transformed into art in this wise novel of rebirth, but they are also transforming – people are brought back to imaginative and spiritual life through contact with them, and it is part of the magic of this urban story that it has roots deep in the mystery of the natural world.” - Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature