August 2013 Indie Next List
“The story begins at a lake retreat in New York state. Thomas Bayber, a young artist with great promise meets the Kessler family. The two teenage daughters, Alice and Natalie are enamored by Thomas. Jealousy unalterably affects the lives of all three of these characters for the next forty years. In those years Thomas becomes famous. Alice and Natalie disappear. Thomas informs his friend, an art professor, Dennis Finch that there is one more painting he had done that had never been shown. Stephen Jameson, an art authenticator is enlisted to help them find the missing artwork, but they must first find Alice and Natalie. The reader slowly becomes aware of the connecting threads that bind all of these characters together in the past as well as the present leading to a surprising conclusion. It was a very well written love story mystery tinged with the sadness of what might have been. Thoroughly enjoyable!”
— Nancy Nelson, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
How do you find someone who wants to be lost?
Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family s summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.
Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, "Kessler Sisters" a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past.
In "The Gravity of Birds" histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.