The Crows of Beara by Julie Christine Johnson was something both Stan Lee and I loved. In fact, Stan Lee liked it so much he couldn't keep his paws off it, and I had a hard reading my copy because he'd lay on it and read the book by osmosis every time I tried to read it.
Annie's life is falling apart when she travels to Ireland for work. She recently got back from rehab, her marriage is on the rocks, and her career is on the line. However before entering rehab, she was a well-regarded PR person at her company, and she persuades her boss to send her to Ireland's wild and beautiful Beara Peninsula, to convince the locals they need a copper mine. What she doesn't count on is the resistance of some of the villagers, including a local artist named Daniel who has secrets and problems of his own, who are fiercely protective of their home and its human and non-human residents. One of the non-human residents is the red-billed chough, an endangered bird that makes it's nests right where the mine is supposed to go.
I liked the setting of the book, and the fact that Annie and Daniel were both presented as immensely flawed. The pair's flaws and the mistakes these two made them more relatable. Stan Lee liked it because it's by a confirmed cat person- he says cat people make better writers.
I'm giving this four paws up for the setting and for Annie and Daniel being relatable.
A note about our review policies: 1 paw up means it was irredeemably bad and you shouldn't read it. 2 paws up means it wasn't terrible. 3 paws up means it was good. 4 paws up means it was really good.
New, $18.95. Buy it here.