Linnet waited with her eyes closed for the door to open and her mother to peek in. Waited for her to touch Linnet's shoulder blades lightly... Linnet knew that touch in her bones, as if it had happened every night of her life. An imprint, a memory of the skin itself."So begins this startling first novel about an eleven-year-old girl who suddenly begins to grow wings - wings with soft auburn feathers, which only at first can be hidden with long hair and loose clothes. Funny, sad, and hopeful, this remarkable story captures a girl's shock at feeling alone in life, as it follows her journey to answer a most important question: how can a girl with wings ever fit into the world? "
"Gr. 4^-6. Eleven-year-old Linnet does not know why her shoulders itch and ache, or why there are weird bumps on them. But Linnet's mother, Sarah, does: she once grew wings, which her own mother cut off. Now that Linnet's wings are unfolding, Sarah must find another solution. Linnet winds up in Montana, abandoned by her mother, but taken in by a group whose members have wings or are "cutwings." This is Winter's first novel, and there's some awkwardness in the narrative, including an ending that discloses the existence of a worldwide network of winged people, who send a helicopter, no less, to save Linnet and her roommate, Andy, who are lost in the wilderness. Growing wings is a fascinating premise, but the book is at its best when it is revealing relationships: especially the rivalry between Linnet and Andy, and the jealousy between the winged Linnet and the scarred Sarah. The title and an evocative jacket will draw readers in. Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Eleven-year-old Linnet, the sympathetic protagonist of this flawed first novel, is confused when she begins to grow feathered wings. Her overwhelmed mother, Sarah, whose own wings had been cruelly chopped off by her mother, refuses to amputate them, but doesn't know what to do. As soon as school lets out for vacation, Sarah drives Linnet off to Wyoming, where Sarah's mother lives. Sarah abruptly disappears, apparently having abandoned Linnet. Resourceful Linnet finds her way to her grandmother, who, remorseful and a "cutwing" herself, brings Linnet to a hidden refuge for people like her. Here, where the story should take off, it begins to grow muddled. Stuffed into the plot are descriptions of Linnet's competitive friendship with a sharp-tongued and winged teenage girl named Andy, their attempts to fly, Linnet's reconciliation with her mother, and a pair of tabloid reporters snooping around the house. Near the end, Linnet discovers a wider network of people with wings (they even have a Web site). She must decide whether to stay at the safe house, go with the network or follow Andy's conviction that they go public and let the world learn to accept them. Readers may be touched by Linnet's plight ("Could she be some sort of mutant, like the three-legged frogs they'd studied in science, changed by pollution or radiation or something?" she worries initially) or captivated by Linnet and Andy's first successful flight with water wings full of helium attached. But Winter moves too quickly from these moments, making it difficult for her story to soar. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved