The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner

Book Cover

I have had a bunch of Wallace Stegner’s works in my library for a few years but never got around to choosing one. So, about a week ago I walked over to the library and this book sort of jumped out at me. And so at age 63, an age I think is appropriate for reading this book, I settled in for what was a very worthwhile and thought-provoking week of reading.
The man writes beautifully and this book touches on things that I think cannot be appreciated until one hits these Golden Years of life. We have a book that discusses aging, health, relationships, as well as lives and past loves (or at least past desires). Even though written in the 1970’s the book does not feel dated and the feelings that Stegner writes about are as fresh and worthy of review now. Maybe it is because I retired rather early, but I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing my own life and there is something about taking the time to contemplate ones life that makes this a perfect book for a retired individual to read.
If it is so great then why not a 5*****? Well, for me it is the fact that while it is a part of the story the entire genetics portion of the book just did not really ring true and was just hard to fathom. There were questions that were left unanswered and so for that single reason it dropped a star in my opinion. However, for me this was a very fine book. I read much of it to my wife who also enjoyed things, and the book made me realize that the time has come for me to not spend quite as much time thinking and sometimes lamenting the past, but that at age 63 there is a whole lot of future that I need to continue to live – even though I have so many of those same aches and pains that the books lead character Joe Allston suffers from

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