Author, Editor, and Publicist Discuss The Bird Sisters

The Long, Winding Road to a Magical Debut
by Kate Kennedy, editor of The Bird Sisters

When I first read The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen, I knew it was special. Rebecca clearly cared about her characters and about the world she’d created for them, and she was able to draw me in before walloping me with an ending that I had never-in-a-million-years seen coming.

Rebecca included background information: the idea for this novel had all started with her grandmother’s journals, who at age seventy-two had created a list of things that she loved and that made her heart sing (“the scent of cotton drying in the sun, mud on my feet, honeysuckle twirling up railings, my mother”).

And yet. There was something missing. The novel felt – the most dreaded word in the publishing world – quiet. I wrote up a detailed letter for the agent to pass along to Rebecca. I thought the story had promise, and I thought that Rebecca did too, but I also believed that Rebecca needed to do more work on this book.

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Six months later, the agent delivered a newly revised version of the book, and this time, it hit all the right notes. Rebecca had done all the work I’d asked of her and more, and what had once been “quiet” was now nuanced and thoughtful. I quickly made an offer and thankfully, it was accepted.

Most authors do not have such a long or winding road to publication, but this experience demonstrates everything that I’ve discovered about Rebecca as we’ve worked together.

If I were to create a list of everything I love about this novel, and what I have learned from and been inspired by in its author, Rebecca Rasmussen, it would include these. Generosity. Respect. Unwavering enthusiasm. Inspiring the best in those around you. Creativity. Boundless energy. Tenacity. Faith in every opportunity, every friendship, every possibility. Hope.

It’s been a true pleasure working with Rebecca on her magical debut, and a true joy to see this beautiful book find its place in readers’ hearts.

Download an excerpt of The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen

Perfect for your book group! Download a reader’s guide for The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen

Visit Rebecca online at, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Rebecca is one of our favorite authors on Twitter – she’s always posting clever, fun stuff!

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Jacquelyn Lane

    This book sounds like a must read book.

  • Brenda Player


  • Barbara Rixstine

    Looks wonderful. I can’t wait to read it!

  • quilotoa

    “Most authors do not have such a long or winding road to publication”

    Asking an author for a rewrite and then, six months later, making an offer? You call that a long / winding road to publication? I’d have been *thrilled* if my road had been that short or straight!

  • Genna Sarnak

    I loved hearing about the backstory behind the writing of The Bird Sisters! I’ve read the book and it’s a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story about the love between two sisters. Absolutely one of the best books I’ve read all year!

  • Susan Stokes

    I was taken by Rebecca’s Love for her Grandmother ,enough to weave a Story.that I have considered for our Bookclub..We are from 18 to 60..Just 5 0f us..Thank you for The opportunity to win The Bird Sisters..Have a Really good feeling about the Book…Susan In VT…

  • nakia george

    Good book.

  • Yvonne H.

    Another great giveaway — thanks!
    I hope I win 🙂

  • Brenda Rupp

    I would absolutely love to read this book!

  • Lucinda Larson

    The book sounds very interesting and good for all ages. Thank you for another give away.

  • Danielle Miller

    One of the things that keeps a VERY busy mother of two young boys sane, is buy curling up and reading of something that can take you away to another place. I love going to other places and meeting new friends, characters, and falling in love with the lives of these characters. I find it hard, however, to spending $10-$20 on a book when my husband is military and unfortanately we aren’t the most successful with financial gain. Lol. Any help with my sanity is much appreciative! Thanks.

  • Audra

    I am crossing my fingers for this giveaway. This is totally on my “reading list”.

  • Paula Garrett


  • Lore Stoakes

    Hope to win:)

  • Eileen Main

    This sounds so interesting. I hope you pick me!!!

  • Sandra H

    This sounds like a wonderful book! I hope that I win and can start reading it soon!

  • Cindy Ellis

    Sounds so good would like to read this

  • Cindy Ellis

    Sounds like a great book would love to read this

  • carol Zwick

    I love the background and the book sounds “Book Club Perfect.”

  • Betty C

    Sounds like a really great book.

  • Sara

    I want to read it!

  • Miriam Boots

    I would love to read this and pass on to my twin sister!!!!

  • Rachel

    Sounds like an awesome read! Would love to win this.

  • Lija

    Sisters are special…not everyone is lucky enough to have one. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks.

  • Sherry

    I got an email that said I won a copy. I can’t wait for this. It sounds awesome!

  • Tania Fain

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to get another great book!!!

  • Donna

    I would love to read this book!! I have 5 sisters and we would all enjoy it!

  • Brenda dePriest

    sounds like another great book!

  • Frances

    I won the book and I am anxious to receive it and read it. Loved the comments written by those who have already read it.

  • Margie Madrigal

    Would love to win!

  • heather fox

    love to win

  • laurie blum

    The Bird Sisters is a must read for me!

  • Nell Ray

    I would love to read this book and share it with my mother and sisters.

  • Nell Ray

    I plan to read it and share it with my family.

  • Bridgitte Seiber

    Would love to read this book and pass it along to my sister!

  • Amanda Griser

    I hope to win!

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  • cheryl

    This book is beautifully written and I was easily drawn into the story, yet it was one of the saddest things I have read in a long time.

  • Sherry

    This was an awesome book. I laughed and cried. I hope everyone gets a chance to read this.

  • Rachel

    Loved this book!!
    Here’s a link to my 5 star review on

  • Colleen Turner

    Like some of the classics I read in school, the characters of The Bird Sisters have become a part of the literary landscape of my heart and promise to stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. Their story is filled with hope and sorrow, but also with a resolution that, whatever choices we make in life, it is the choices we make for love that have the potential to make the most impact.

    The people of Spring Green, Wisconsin look at Milly and Twiss as the strange old maids that live out in the country and have a way with injured birds. They bring their broken finds to the sisters for help, and while Twiss attempts to save the birds Milly tries to do the same for the people who come. On one such day the sisters are unsuccessful in both attempts and while trying to get back to the ordinariness of their typical day they begin to reminisce on how they got here. Both seem to realize that, while their family had been disintegrating for sometime, it isn’t until their cousin, Bett, arrived on their doorstep in 1947 that all they held dear finally fell apart for good.

    The Bird Sisters seeks to remind us that what we do for love doesn’t always illicit a happy ending. Loving someone else often means sacrificing who we are and the happiness we might deserve. One person will usually have to give more to the one they love then they will get in return. Every action has a consequence and it is how we handle these consequences that truly show the makeup of who we are.

  • Sally Van Slyke

    Was so excited when I received the book. Started reading it right away. There was a great relationship between the two sisters. I loved the writing style and felt close to the sisters. In the middle of the book it took a twist that I did not expect. The author ended the book in suprise fashion. I would recommend the book.

  • Joyce Canavino

    My sister and I will enjoy reading this book, I’m sure.

  • Angie

    Would love to read this one!!

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