Let the Willows Weep by Sherry Parnell: Book Review

I received the ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

And, I was immediately drawn to the title besides this beautiful cover of ‘Let the Willows Weep’ by Sherry Parnell. As the title suggests, I braced myself for an emotional, tragic story. It definitely has elements of an emotional story but with that of a Young Adult book.

Let the Willows Weep by Sherry Parnell
272 pages

“Sometimes life is just like paper wings. Fragile, easily torn apart, and often there are too many pieces to pick up.”

‘Let the Willows Weep’ is about Birddog Harlin, the young girl living in rural America. She is given this unusual nickname ‘Birddog’ by her brother for he thought she was small as a bird and strong and loyal as a dog.

Mr.Harlin worked in the mines and was always taunted by his wife for having a low profile job. Birddog grew in this dysfunctional family where the mother was constantly unhappy and cribbing about everything. There are two brothers of Birddog, one who loves and protects her unconditionally named Denny. And, the other is Caul who is sort of a bully to Birddog. So there is this constant rift between mother and daughter, husband and wife and brother and sister. Birddog’s life moves ahead amidst this unsettling environment. 

Birddog’s father used to call her ‘strong-willed and spirited’ but her mother only saw her daughter’s behaviour as outrageous. Then the inevitable happened, Birddog’s father died in a cave-in at the mine. This led Denny to quit his school and work at the mine to support his family. In time, Denny was married but to a woman who mirrored his mother’s temperament. The leaves Birddog in a spiral of self-destruction without the support of her father and brother.

The story is told from Birddog’s perspective, her way of handling life’s worst crisis of losing a parent at a young age and surviving with the unloving parent. It is the sheer inability of the young child to accept the reality and understand why the good in her isn’t rewarded. Another point brought about is how the unloving parenting is passed on down the generations.

You can read the book to know if Birddog was able to make a loving nest for her, breaking free of the emotional baggage.

Order Your Copy at

Amazon US | Amazon India

About the Author

Sherry Parnell is an alumnus of Dickinson College and West Chester University. ‘Let the Willows Weep’ is her first novel.

‘Let the Willows Weep’, explores the disintegration of a family and the effects it has on two generations of women. Birddog Harlin is at the heart of an increasingly fractured and dysfunctional family. Adored by her eldest brother and father, and facing constant tough love and disapproval from her mother, as Birddog grows from a girl to a woman she’ll navigate the struggles and indignations of daily life in poor, rural America. Still, while her hardscrabble life promises limited prospects, it is punctuated by moments of connection, kindness, and even love.

8 thoughts on “Let the Willows Weep by Sherry Parnell: Book Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s