Oswald Campbell is a reformed, terminally ill drunk in Chicago who seeks refuge in a small Alabama village intending to relax and live out his last days in peace. His life quickly becomes entangled with the locals including the grocery owner and his pet cardinal Jack, a crippled avian orphan, and a gaggle of middle-aged spinsters who aspire to see him married. There are quirky characters, like the woman who dies her hair unnatural colors, the mail deliverer who does business by boat, the surly Cajuns who refuse to mix with the villagers, and the store owner who harbors the redbird and has been nursing a broken heart for decades. The plot progresses lazily like the lifestyle of the town and it is an amusing read.
However, it reads like a Hallmark made-for-tv movie. This is not my particular cup of tea. I don't enjoy the predictable and the saccharine so I was disappointed. I have read and very much enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes and Can't Wait to get to Heaven by Flagg. Both books had well-rounded characters and wonderfully rich plots.
The book group over-all liked this book as escape from the holiday stress. But we agreed it was beneath our abilities and did not meet our taste for books that provide fodder for significant discussion.