Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings

Fiction - Literary
150 Pages
Reviewed on 06/14/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jacqueline Simon Gunn is an award-winning writer and Manhattan-based clinical psychologist. She is the author of both fiction and non-fiction books as well as many articles, both scholarly and mainstream. With her academic and clinical experience in psychology, Gunn’s novels tend to be psychological and thought-provoking. Always in search of truth and fascinated by human behavior, her fiction writing, like psychology, is a way for her to explore human nature -- motivation, emotions, relationships.

In addition to her clinical practice and writing, Gunn is an avid runner and reader, a serious cat lover and a coffee connoisseur. Gunn is currently working on multiple writing projects.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Inspired by real-life events, Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings is a heartfelt drama by Jacqueline Simon Gunn. Since he was a two-month owlet taken from his native land, Flaco, an Eurasian eagle owl, had lived thirteen years in a small enclosure in the Central Park Zoo. Flaco feels a deep longing to leave his humdrum life at the zoo and be free to fly, hunt, and mate. One day, when a young woman named Winona sets him free, Flaco suddenly finds himself flying over the streets of New York City. His escape to freedom captures the imaginations of the city's inhabitants, and Flaco touches many lives along the way, including a black street cat named Washington. Meanwhile, Winona finally finds the courage to break her engagement with her incompatible boyfriend.

Jacqueline Simon Gunn puts a dramatic twist on the true story of Flaco the Owl, who won over the hearts of NYC's residents after his famous escape from the Central Park Zoo in 2023. His story was an inspiration to many people, and Gunn shows that beautifully through this slice-of-life drama. Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings is a testament to the resilient nature of life and shows how everyone deserves to be free and pursue the life they want. I absolutely loved the friendship between Flaco and Washington. Although the story has its share of heartbreak, it leaves you with a sense of hope and optimism about tomorrow while encouraging you to follow your heart. All in all, I found the book very engaging and inspirational. A must-read for pet owners and animal lovers in general.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Flaco, the Eurasian eagle-owl, was meant to soar in the skies. He hated being gawked at by dozens of humans visiting the New York City Zoo. Yet, humans thought they knew best, assuming Flaco was safe and content in the protected environment of the zoo. Did they ever stop to think how a born predator might feel when his only ration was frozen meals? Did they ever try to sense how cramped his wings felt after being cooped up all day? Flaco would give anything for freedom. But what happens when he finally escapes from the zoo? Find out in Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings, a novel based on actual events and penned by Jacqueline Simon Gunn.

The short length of the book belies its lasting impact, quite akin to the encouraging influence Flaco’s bid for freedom had over countless New Yorkers. I commend Jacqueline Simon Gunn for touching our hearts with Flaco’s wholesome story. She depicted the owl’s yearning for freedom in a way that made us see life through his eyes. His agony was palpable in Gunn’s masterful writing, highlighting human cruelty and making us question our opinion of wildlife. This thought-provoking book makes us reflect on the moral right of keeping a wild animal captive, all in the name of conservation efforts. I loved how, despite an unfortunate and untimely death, Flaco’s legacy lives on in the human lives he touched. He was a beacon of hope to those hapless humans who had lost direction. Flaco represented a connection to nature, a divine signal that turned the course of many lives. This majestic eagle-owl signified not only freedom but also the manifestation of our true potential. His story inspires us to step outside the apparent safety of our comfort zones and spread our metaphorical wings. I recommend Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings to anyone needing an uplifting read. It will be perfect for fans of Remarkably Bright Creatures.

Frank Mutuma

Flaco was one of a kind; a gloriously wise old owl not native to the USA. In Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings by Jacqueline Simon Gunn, Flaco lived in Central Park Zoo in New York before his escape, aided by someone concerned about his well-being. At the time, Flaco was always kept in a cage where he couldn't truly experience his true nature; he could not fly in the small cage or use his other skills, such as hunting, which were hardwired into his nature. Most people are happy to visit the zoo and take pictures with Flaco, but only a few are concerned with a wild bird being held in captivity, such as Winona, who has a spirited fight with her mother when they visit the zoo. How will things turn out when Flaco escapes? Is it for his good, or is he better at the zoo, where some people argue that he is safe?

Flaco the Owl Spreads His Wings by Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a wonderfully written and thought-provoking book that makes the reader think about human interaction with other animals. As I was reading this book, I couldn't help wondering if some of the decisions made by human beings were for the good of the animals or our entertainment. Flaco's story is also one of courage and resilience. He inspired many people who were in different situations to take the initiative to improve their lives despite their fear of the unknown. Jacqueline also captured Flaco's life vividly, and the subtle themes helped pass on the intended message without alienating anyone. This is a great read that helped me understand animal rights from a different perspective, and I look forward to reading something else by this talented author.