David Layton’s The Bird Factory is an upbeat and peculiar account of a couple’s attempts to get pregnant from a man’s point of view. Julia wants a baby and will go to great lengths to have one. She’s willing to try fertility drugs as well as in vitro fertilization if they can’t have one naturally. As for Luke, he’s apathetic. Not just about the baby, he’s apathetic about everything. He doesn’t want to fix what isn’t broken; he doesn’t want to rock the boat. He’s perfectly content with Julia and his life with her, so he can’t figure out why she wants to bring children into the mix.
I really enjoyed this story. It was a fun and quick read with unique, quirky and eccentric characters. While I didn’t like Luke or Julia all that much, I did think Philip was sort of interesting. Even though it was hard to get to know him, he really grew on me after awhile. Luke’s childhood sounded a bit absurd with his father’s homemade river running through his basement and his mother disappearing and reappearing periodically. I’m surprised he wasn’t more screwed up.
My favourite part of the book, though, was the bird factory. Over the years, I’ve developed a fondness for birds, even the wooden kind. I was fascinated with the descriptions of the birds and the factory itself. Even though it was filled with strange characters, it sounds like a place I’d like.
Recommended. I’d definitely read another book by Layton.