Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
“Oh, Berta… I fear what that defiant spirit and quick temper might cost you in life.”
Berta sees herself as plain, ordinary, and unappreciated compared to her glowing, outgoing, adored sister, Glenna. That perception affects how Berta lives her life. But she’ll eventually have to take true stock of what she has become, and why, in The Bluebird and the Sparrow by author Janette Oke.
I believe this is the third time I’ve read this novel, counting the first time I did so back in my adolescence. Pretty sure I was first drawn by its original book cover from the ’90s, which I still prefer. I think the story benefits from the rather pastel cover that’s softly vibrant and lovely because…
Well, because Berta is a downer much of the time. But her story is a lovely one.
Berta is a depiction of how jealousy can make even a competent person illogical, petty, and bitter. It makes real, unfortunate sense.
The scenes during Berta and Glenna’s childhood give the general gist of how they come into womanhood. Granted, that general gist all but makes caricatures of them for a while, with a too-sour older sister and a too-sweet younger one. Yet, Berta’s moments of self-awareness make her character relatable. There’s a realness to her journey, her pain, and what she must one day come to learn.
This ChristFic novel is comfort reading for me. Not because it’s perfect or happy-go-lucky (it’s neither) but because it brings relevant truth about life, love, and self-acceptance in a simple and ultimately lovely way.