Description: Oswald T. Campbell, aged fifty-two, down-and-out in a Chicago winter, is given only months to live unless he moves South... He finds himself in the small town of Lost River, Alabama, where the residents are friendly if feud-prone and eccentric to a fault. One of them, Roy, keeps a red cardinal, a once wounded bird called Jack. Patsy, a sad, sweet little kid with a crippled leg, from the trailer park up in the woods, takes to dropping by the store - and falls in love with Jack.
Flagg takes us on an emotional roller-coaster ride through the lives and hearts of an engaging crew of misfits, fixers and ordinary good-hearted folk, set against the vivid natural backdrop of a mellow Alabama winter, along the riverside where birds and fish abound. Her enchanting story culminates at Christmastide with surprises and a magical 'redbird' moment.
Opening: The Windy City: It was only November sixth but Chicago had just been hit with its second big blizzard of the season, and Mr Oswald T Campbell guessed he had stepped in every ice-cold ankle-deep puddle of dirty white slush it was possible to step in, trying to get to his appointment.
Somewhat twee, yet not as saccharine as some. Surely the term is Cajun not Creole, if my cult-yar classes steered me right.