Song of the Vagabond Bird

Song of the Vagabond Bird

by Terry Kay

Overview: When he arrives on Neal's Island to begin ten days of intensive group therapy to treat his obsession for a woman he cannot forget, he brings with him the pseudonym of Bloodworth. What he discovers is an island of ghosts, an island of intense, but fragile, relationships founded on deceit, and, yet, an island strangely harboring the yearned-for promise of healing. The same his four fellow members in the seminar, each with his own pseudonym and each suffering his own agony because of a relationship with a woman. Vastly different as individuals, yet suffering the same crippling malady of obsession, the five are not prepared for the antics of Dr. Carson X. Willingham. He is maverick and madman, a brilliant investigator of his subjects who is also a man with his own demons. It is in this environment that Bloodworth finds himself faced with the delicate question of honesty as he tries to free the memory of his Kalee, and begin his new journey into the uncertainty of what might be.

Deanna Boe (01/16/19): Yes, once more, a novel by Terry Kay. As I have explained before, all of his stories are entirely different, this one really is. The storyline involves 5 men who have gone to Neal’s Island, just off the coast of S. Carolina. Why? It is for an unusual reason, each of them is obsessed with a woman they simply can’t get off of their minds or their lives. They have been seeking professional help but without any clear-cut results, and thus the reason to try this drastic approach to see if it could be successful. They have been referred by their present psychiatrists.

Each man selects a pseudonym and profession for himself, so their identity remains a secret and because of that they can convey their stories honestly. Naturally, there has to be one main character who is telling this narrative, and because of that the novel is mainly about himself. He has selected the name of his psychiatrist – Bloodworth, along with that profession for their 10 days on the island. His dilemma centers on the fact his fiancé was killed in a car accident before they were to be married. Bloodworth cannot get over her or get her out of his mind.

The other characters have selected the names of Godsick, Menlo, Barkeep, and Max. The man who is conducting this workshop is Dr. Carson X. Willington, who is also very unusual, especially in the way he conducts these 10 days. Each man has his own cabin, not close to each other. Other then when they are at the meetings, they are not to have contact with each other. Bloodworth was told from the start that he had the nicest and most unusual cabin right on the beach. It had never been used before in one of these workshops. Why? What secret tale does it hold? In fact, what tales do each of these men have to share?

Bloodworth writes at least one letter a day to his dead fiancé. At first I didn’t know how I felt about these letters, but it is the way the author conveys much of the storyline and how Bloodworth is able to overcome his reason for being on the island. The strangest part of the book deals with ghosts on the island. Are they real? Does Bloodworth actually interact with one of them?

As I have stated, this is one of the more unusual novels written by Terry Kay. Saying that, it is also one of the reasons why I enjoy his writing, all the novels are so different from each other. What an imagination Kay does have, which incorporated with his incredible writing ability, makes for some fun and extraordinary stories. Rating: ****+

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