The Thing With Feathers

The Thing With Feathers

by Anne Sweazy-Kulju


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As the inhabitants of Cloverdale, Oregon, welcomed in the twentieth century, they were not unaccustomed to hard times and thorny situations. Small communities banded together for protection and hope. Heroes and villains were often difficult to decipher.

When an itinerate Baptist preacher arrived with his baby daughter and a wife lost on the trail, there was no one prepared to suspect what lurid secrets and heartbreak he might be concealing. As the preacher sets his sights against those who might oppose him, the names and the lives of the good people of Cloverdale may not be spared.

Yet in the midst of the machinations of a mad man, virtue and valor can persist. The Thing with Feathers is known to fly through wars, depressions, and natural disasters. Will the Marshall clan and the good people of Cloverdale find it in time?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618623102
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, L.L.C.
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 2.70(d)

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The Thing With Feathers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite I really enjoyed reading The Thing with Feathers by Anne Sweazy-Kulju. This story starts off in the 1920s and is about the lives of Blair Bowman and Will Marshall. Blair has been abused by her father since she was a little girl. Will decides to sacrifice his own happiness in order to rescue Blair from him. The story then follows them through the years and the hardships that they both suffer. The Thing with Feathers is made up of all the good stuff that keeps the reader from putting it down. I like that Sweazy-Kulju did not write a fairytale. In this story there is incest, secrets, and never ending drama. This is what makes the story believable, because it is eerily similar to real life. The story did not end the way I expected, but I rather like not being able to guess what happens in a book. The character of Will is a hero in my eyes and I cannot imagine anyone these days ever sacrificing their own happiness to save a stranger. I honestly felt Will’s pain throughout the book. Although it was Will's choice in helping Blair, the story makes the saying “No good deed goes unpunished” stand out. The main message that I got from this awesome book was that if you care for someone, then let them know today. Tomorrow may be too late. This story made me appreciate my family more. I think Anne Sweazy-Kulju did a great job. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
LAWonder More than 1 year ago
 If you are looking for calming, reflective novel, this is not it! It is a disturbing story of a sadistic man who was made a preacher in a small Oregon community. The people were very friendly and accepting of the  new preacher and his daughter. The time period begins about 1928 and spans through to about 1945. The country went through some very trying times during those years and small farming communities were not exempt. The story primarily centers around Preacher Bowman and his daughter, the Marshalls, Rebecca, and the Tjaden family, Other characters are introduced and some fill a major role in the plot. The characters describe become very real and the landscape, plus background scenes are well portrayed. The title is taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson which discloses the story connection to the title. It is an acceptable title but not one to draw a reader's attention. The book cover reflects the same observation. It is too dark and slightly deceptive to "catch" the reader's eye. This is a unique tale of the roller coaster of life - the good times and the bad. It is a time where sacrifices  were great and honor was revered. Just as in our present day, some people were selfish and cruel, while others are unselfish and trusting... Then, of course, others were neither. Sometimes justice is not served in this life leaving one with the hope that in the next life it will all be made right. In this story of peace then turmoil, the readers experience conflicting emotions. Part of the time one applauds the characters then other times despises them.  It is reasonably clean except for some sexual situations and some profanity...definitely a PG-13 rating. This novel is a mixture of genres...Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, an Psychological Thriller. I felt a portion of this story was dragged out but otherwise well-written. My review of this book offers a Four Stars rating. This was generously sent to me by the author for an honest review of which I have given.
acade More than 1 year ago
A light easy read this is not. This was my first time reading Sweazy-Kulju and she's an excellent writer. She can weave together a story that will hold you captive but at the same time it's a story that will break your heart.  The story focuses on the life of Sean Marshall as he grows up, marries and falls in love during the 1930s and 40s in Oregon. He's a good, honorable man that does what he believes is right even if it hurts him. The journey he and his family go through over the years is just devastating. Their tale broke my heart and by the time I reached the final page I was just sobbing.  This one really did leave my heart heavy. I spent the entire book wanting Sean and his family to just catch a break already. To have a good life and for things to be easy for them for a change. But nothing ever was. They suffer tragedy after tragedy with murder, rape, incest, a broken court system handing a child over to an abusive "grandparent", horrific child abuse, mental illnesses and unavoidable life threatening injuries. The part that made this read so hard from me, other than the obvious--it was just a dark read, was that the good times in their lives, which they did have years of, were completely skipped over. We got a brief mention of them before more of their life tragedies and the horrors of their life were delved into. I would have really liked actually hearing about the happy times when things were good for them. It was such a heavy read and I needed to have some lightness added in to it.  I do love history and have long read historical romances but that's not what this is. If you haven't read historical fiction it's a much different genre. Happily ever afters don't have to exist and the look into life is more based on fact and isn't prettied up. I really did find the time period the book was written in fascinating since it's a time I just haven't read much about in fiction. I think Sweazy-Kulju did an amazing job getting the feel for the time and including the history that was being made. Seeing the family go through the Great Depression, the beginnings of wars, devastating forest fires that really did ravish the region was gripping. It was shockingly real and poignant. The things the world was going through, the difficulties of life and just the changes and inventions set loose on the world were amazing and Sweazy-Kulju brought that to life in vivid detail.  While The Thing with Feathers was well written and incredibly moving it's not the tale I'd  for everyone. It doesn't have the perfect happily ever after or even a pretty ending. It is an interesting read that I think will grab the attention of history lovers but be prepared for tears and have some chocolate on hand. You'll need it. 
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
Anne pens "The Thing with Feathers" in an interesting but difficult plot for some, dealing with incest, rape and harsh violence in biblical times. Her characters were relate-able and were shown as actual human beings which interacted well with each other. I gripping story line that kept me reading. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Intertwining a poem from Emily Dickenson, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” the author has taken difficult subjects and tackled them directly and without apology. Deeply dark and disturbing, with recurrent themes of brutalization in both physical and spiritual planes, these successive acts all are focused within a small isolated town.  The never-ending litany of deaths and the endless barrage of difficulties were a direct juxtaposition to the underlying poem at the center of the story, yet provided the necessary reason for the residents to continue on.  Characters were beautifully depicted and defined, truly human with faults and foibles; a credit to the author’s thoughtful story development.  The inclusion of purely evil people, a revolutionary thought for those who believe that no human is truly all good or all evil, Sweazy-Kulju dropped this evil in the mix and did not apologize or pretty it up.  Clever insertion of facts and figures clearly help to connect the story and the timeline to actual events in history, fleshing out the story in the background and making it feel more familiar to readers.   Especially in the midst of the destruction and devastation being wrought on the residents of this little town, an event or place in time that is familiar, both grounds the place and provides a solid background for the events of the story.   This was a highly emotionally charged book that isn’t for every reader. Themes of incest, rape and the overtones of a less than admirable “man of God” and his spiritual teachings, beliefs and misuse of position are all directly dealt with in the story: to the author’s credit she draws readers in with an emotional and near tactile experience.  Readers will alternate from horror to silence to a sort of vengeful “gotcha” as the story progresses, until the point at which it does feel like there are no more bad things to befall this little town.   Funnily enough, they still have their hope for better things to come, the hope for the end of the “tough times”.   Personally, this was a very difficult read for me in terms of subject matter and the directness with which it is dealt.  While I must say that the author did, in no way, apologize for or ‘pretty up’ the bad and violent acts, the emotional impact of the repeated battering with dark imagery is a tough one to continue to read through.  While I do believe that there is an audience for this sort of dark fiction, and the author does a stellar job with interweaving the multiple threads into a coherent whole, it was not one of my more pleasurable reading experiences solely based on that emotional toll.  I received an eBook from the author for purpose of honest review as part of the blog tour with Full Moon Bites.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 
dustykatt More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting from start to finish. I really found the way the charters interact with each other fascinating. I found that I could easily relate to them, and that they are refreshingly, real. I am looking forward to reading more of Anne's work. Defiantly a 5 star read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
  The Thing With Feathers is an unnerving journey through an Oregon town's history, or better yet, the people that inhabit the town. Evil lurks, it has a face, and it is known. What the author does very well in The Thing With Feathers is likely to go unnoticed by many. The history is rich and detailed and she has an interesting way of weaving a little poetry subtlety into the mix. (I appreciate that.) I rarely give 5 stars, but I wholeheartedly offer all five for The Thing With Feathers. I understand the topics of incest and rape and  harsh violence intertwined with biblical themes and religious overtones is unsettling for some.   We are so often bombarded with the idea that everyone has good in them , no one is pure evil. The author rips that veil right down and exposes it like a nerve. She kills off characters, unreservedly so, and it is wonderfully uncomfortable. Pure evil does exist, some families are drawn to harm and pain, and sometimes they don't deserve it. Well done. I received a free digital copy of this book through a blog tour for my honest, unbiased opinion. I do not know the author, and I am not affiliated with her in any way.