In her debut novel, The Lovebird, author Natalie Brown introduces us to Margie Fitzgerald, a spirited heroine with a bleeding heart, a twinge in her left ovary, and a Titanic capacity for sympathy. The novel takes us from Southern California’s orange-scented streets to Montana’s vast prairies, tracking Margie’s love affair with Simon Mellinkoff, her charming, but clearly troubled, professor. “Margie has always had a soft spot for helpless creatures,” Brown explains, and as she embarks on an unconventional love affair, Simon, a Latin-scholar-cum-animal-rights-activist, folds Margie into his coterie of like-minded ragtag renegades.
“Brown get[s] readers empathizing with [Margie] as well as caught up in her passion,” says Publishers Weekly. Readers watch as Margie’s newfound activism and its consequences force her to flee to Montana and the safety of the Crow Indian Reservation, leaving behind her fragile father and her life in California. Once in Montana, against the back drop of endless Big Country sky, she meets a cast of characters as varied and guiding as Chaucer’s pilgrims. It is there that Margie also meets the once person she most wants to know and understand: herself.
Suffused with humor, The Lovebird is a novel about one young woman’s love of animals, yearning for connection, and search for her place in this world. “In vibrant, colorful language that leaps off the page, Brown paints her winsome heroine’s coming-of-age with compassion and affection in this lush, compelling tale,” says one Booklist review.
Raised in Orange County, California, Natalie Brown earned a BA in Literature at UC San Diego, and MA degrees in both English and Native American Studies at Montana State University. She lives in Bozeman, Montana.