“The Bird Artist” by Howard Norman is a well written and intriguing account of a small Newfoundland village around 1910. The characters are direct and unadorned but far from simple. This could well be a stripped down prequel to Annie Proulx’s “Shipping News”. The story has a very strong meter or cadence in both character development and language. I found myself engaged in the story from the very first paragraph. The ending might be a little weak, but I liked how things worked out and would recommend this book highly.