Forthcoming novel,

Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan

June 16th, 2020 



"Reed's painterly descriptions of the Oregon Coast are so vivid and real, so beautiful and lyrical that her writing is more like a visual art form. So, approach this book less as a collection of words on a white page and more like a painting."—Portland Tribune

“Author Deborah Reed (Things We Set on Fire) plies the reader with beautiful sentence after beautiful sentence. Her descriptions of coastal Oregon’s trees and wildlife are as lush as the landscape itself. But these lovely words aren’t strung together with more regard for the individual than the whole. In Reed’s capable hands, they are building blocks of a story that will capture readers’ imaginations.”—BookPage

"A character-driven narrative that focuses on the grief her two protagonists suffer. It's a sad tale in which grief almost becomes overwhelming but in which the reader is saved by Reed's lyrical and elegant prose and a sense of redemption at the end." —The Oregonian

"Reed is skilled at unraveling their stories gradually, and is particularly adept at both drawing parallels between June and Jameson and depicting how the two help each other through their pain....An emotionally satisfying novel about the lingering effects of trauma and how people deal with guilt." —Publishers Weekly

"June and Jameson are linked by only their brokenness when June hires Jameson to refurbish her family’s cottage, which has been worn by a lifetime of wind and rain on the Oregon coast. When Jameson arrives to work, he is brought to his knees by an onslaught of painful, salt-soaked memories. Jameson and his wife used to live in the same coastal town but moved inland when their seven-year-old twins were murdered. June is not without her own scars; she is sober for the first time since her father’s suicide and struggling to stay dry. June and Jameson brood on separate corners of the property, letting the ocean air heal them in solitude. When Jameson’s wife comes to visit, it’s clear that his old life no longer fits. He has a choice: live out the rest of his days as an interloper in his own home or move forward. Reed shines with a light hand and direct storytelling, but her characters are what make this novel move—their vulnerability, imperfect recovery, and endearing loss for words." —Courtney Eathorne, BOOKLIST

"The Days When Birds Come Back is a gorgeous meditation of the importance of paying attention to one thing in particular: the indelible map our past creates. In Reed’s dazzling new novel, we find a mesmerizing melding of two very different tales: one involving random tragedy, another based on misunderstanding, both bound by the power of regret. As the stories merge, we discover that the inescapable insistence that we must face our truth, change our map, and thereby find the truest and best course for the future. In this raw and honest journey of addiction, love, trauma, and redemption, we discover that lives can be mended, maps re-drawn. Whether by adopting a child, restoring a home, or by acknowledging a love that deserves it, Reed has reminded us that we can only fully claim our lives when we embrace our history." —Laura Pritchett, author of The Blue Hour, and winner of the PEN USA Award

"Deborah Reed's story of two people struggling to integrate past pain with a tantalizing future is as misty and heart-stopping as the Oregon coast itself. And in the wonderful, difficult June Byrne, she has created one of the most complex and relatable portraits of a recovering alcoholic in memory." —Kristi Coulter, author of No Good Can Come From This

"In Reed’s achingly exquisite latest, two scarred-by-life souls-- a divorcee and a man toppled by tragedy—hide from their pasts by together renovating an old Oregon house. About the love we’ve lost, the mistakes and secrets we're afraid to reveal, and a haunting reminder that second chances aren’t just given—we have to be brave enough to earn them. A blindingly beautiful book." —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

"A haunting story of love and loss, The Days When Birds Come Back is the kind of book that you sink into on the first page and don’t want to leave. Deborah Reed’s characters are both flawed and sympathetic, and their struggle to make terms with the past gives this novel a wonderful urgency. " —Jane Delury, author of The Balcony

"Deborah Reed’s THE DAYS WHEN BIRDS COME BACK haunted me every day I read it, and has continued to ever since. There were moments of reading when I both could not bear to turn the page and was absolutely compelled.  I don’t believe I’ve ever read such an exquisitely painful story that has on a daily basis so affected the way I interact with other humans, especially my dearest loved ones. This is a novel that makes me want to pay better attention. " —Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lions and Lamb