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Reviewed by Bernadette Longu for Readers' Favorite
Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley takes place from 2008 through 2009 in a town called Waterbury, approximately an hour's drive from New York in Connecticut, New England. The main character is Barnaby Brown with his parrot Popsicle - a Green Amazon Parrot - who is his best friend and even goes with him to the watering hole O'Malley's. Other characters that cross Barnaby’s path are Sean who owns and runs the watering hole which Barnaby frequents. Then there is Sal, his boss at the hardware store. Barnaby has been on a downward spiral since his wife’s death, the loss of his teaching job, and having to move back in with his parents. He is an excellent artist but because he is always drinking, he has not painted since his parents passed. Barnaby also seems to think by moving to California and getting away from the cold winters of Waterbury, he would be better off. Certain things happen that cause him to rethink his life, life choices, what he is doing to himself, and allow him to start following his dream and getting back to painting. This is one of the few books I have read that has caught my attention from the start to the end and makes a person think.
The plot of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley is very well laid out and takes you on a journey from the first line to the last. It does go on some side paths but eventually meanders back to the main route. Each character is important to Barnaby Brown on his journey to finding himself, being true to himself, and getting back to his painting. The pace is not too fast; it is like a lovely meander through a beautiful garden. The theme has been well written and gives the reader food for thought about life in general and what is available for the reader personally going forward. The action is more like interactions between all the main characters in the story as well as some sub-characters, so it keeps everything going forward and becomes a page-turner. I found I could not put it down until I had reached the end. It makes you think about how you are handling your life and if you are stagnating because you are too afraid to take a chance. I enjoyed reading this book from the first page to the last and found the ending the best, due to the fact that I had started rooting early for the main characters.