Witty and complex yet masterfully distilled, The Strange Courtship of Abigail Bird sets the reader on course for an eventful face-off between our protagonist Ishmael (who, much like his unbiblical counterpart in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is a bit of an outcast), and, a hugely daunting, wholly unpredictable aggressor called ‘life.’
Compliments of his socially awkward proclivities and proprietary linguistic precision, Professor Ishmael Archer is seen as a bit of an eccentric among his largely indifferent class of creative writing students at Longfellow College, and his peer group of skeptical, massively self-involved academics.
With the introduction of the beguiling Ms. Abigail Bird (toward whom Ishmael is as immediately smitten as he is totally befuddled) comes a cast of characters who, in their own unique ways, help Ishmael untangle a confusion of instincts brought on from severe over-thinking of past relationship traumas, and empower him to stage a most unusual problem-solving production in an attempt to conquer what appears to stand between he and his beloved Abigail.
I loved this book! It is incredibly well written, the plot is unexpected and unique, the humour is bang-on (classic Blumenthal), and, the characters are just so perfectly… lifelike.
It takes a special kind of talent to conceive of and then render such a complex set of ideas and characters into a novel as beautifully human and endearing as The Strange Courtship of Abigail Bird. No wonder it’s already an award-winner.
Five stars. Highly recommended. Buy your copy here.