Warning: Slight spoilers ahead.
How To Knock A Bravebird From Her Perch by D. Bryant Simmons is the first in a series about the Morrow women.
Belinda is young and naive when she gets married. With no living family left to guide her, she can only rely on her instincts and the man she thinks loves her. Once the relationship becomes abusive, it’s all she can do to keep herself alive and protect her children.
Her story is an emotional and intense one, made even worse by the pressures of the world around her.
The neighborhood is close-knit–at times, just plain nosy–and her husband is well-known. Belinda has never been outspoken, and the abuse she faces is a secret she doesn’t dare reveal out of fear.
As a result, her acts of self-preservation are simply perceived as being ungrateful, making her prison that much more overwhelming.
“Love a tricky thing. It don’t just show up where you want it to and you can’t keep it away neither. Love go where it want.”
Belinda, How To Knock A Bravebird From Her Perch
It was difficult to read sometimes, between the characters’ natural way of speaking and the awful circumstances Belinda often finds herself in. However, nothing about the novel was meant to be easy to read.
It needed to provoke thought, and often the best way to do that is to yank at the reader’s emotions and make them uncomfortable. Mission accomplished, D. Bryant Simmons.
There are heavy issues addressed in How To Knock A Bravebird From Her Perch and, unfortunately, they’re still prevalent today. Women (and men) report domestic assault or abuse, and are then subject to more public scrutiny than the aggressor is. Once other victims see that unfold, they’re less likely to report their own situations.
If you or someone you know is currently living in a dangerous situation with a significant other, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.