Lesbian relationships rarely survive the death of a parent, Ali Liebegott's therapist tells her in the pages of this novel-in-verse. Despite Ali's defiance, the prediction comes true. In The Summer of Dead Birds, she explores the toll of mental illness and grief on romantic partnerships - fragile things anyway - through a lesbian lens.
In this chronicle of mourning and survival, Ali Liebegott wallows in loneliness and over-assigns meaning to everyday circumstance, clinging to an aging dog and obsessing over dead birds. But these unpretentious vignettes are laced with compassion, as she learns to balance the sting of death with the tender strangeness of life.