“In Hovering Flight” by Joyce Hinnefeld

“In Hovering Flight” by Joyce Hinnefeld This is a fine novel by a prize-winning professor of English in Pennsylvania. But I think you really have to have a love of birds to do it full justice.

Hinnefeld is interested in the relationships between mother, father and daughter and explores their love of ornithology, wild life, music, poetry as well as their love for each other. The conflicts seem to come when one of the arts, or science, gets in the way of expressing their emotions on a personal basis.

The heroine is called Scarlet (after the bird the scarlet tanager) and the book follows her search to understand her highly emotional,artisic mother. The natural world, with wonderful and constant stories of birds who enter the picture, is beautifully described. One reviewer calls Hinnefeld “a wise story-teller” – which makes this a charming book to read this summer.

Review by Anne McDougall