The Booklist

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 134

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[Why Have the Birds Stopped Singing? is an] entertaining time-travel adventure with its share of suspense and romance. Sixteen-year-old Katie, on a tour with schoolmates, unknowingly stops at he Washington State birthplace of her great-great-great grandmother. Katie is epileptic, and when she forgets her medicine and falls, she wakes in her look-alike namesake ancestor's shoes. Although we are told that epilepsy is not inherited, Katie's mid-nineteenth-century double has it; and this unfortunate link, however weak, keeps the plot going through modern Katie's attempts to be understood by ancestor Kathryn's uncle, who keeps her locked up…. [Readers] may sense nagging structural gaps in the tale. However, the well-drawn historical setting and an unbroken line of tension will hold readers.

A review of "Why Have the Birds Stopped Singing?" in The Booklist, Vol. 70, No. 21, July 1, 1974, p. 1202.


John W. Conner