The Sighing of Rose-Breasted Cockatoos: The Search for the Sunlit Clearing

Robert Ensign
Inkwater Press (2012)
ISBN 9781592996155

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (9/12)

Article first published as Book Review: The Sighing of Rose-Breasted Cockatoos: The Search for the Sunlit Clearing by Robert Ensign on Blogcritics.

I believe the desire to belong and to understand how we “fit in” is in the human nature, and all of us spend considerable time figuring out what makes us who we are. This is truly not an easy task, but it becomes considerably more complicated if and when we are not raised with our biological families. When that happens, our search for a safe and happy place, where we are content with who we are, could be lengthy and very painful.  Robert Ensign’s “The Sighing of Rose-Breasted Cockatoos” is a beautifully written book, which illustrates such a search in vivid and clear details.

Adopted at less than a year of age, he began the process of trying to understand who he was at a very early age. For decades, all of his relationships were greatly influenced by that quest, and his search for “Sunlit Clearing.”  “The Sighing of Rose-Breasted Cockatoos” invites the reader to come along on this journey, and it does so in a very compelling manner. Mr. Ensign's writing is eloquent and elegant, and one of the most compelling components of his narrative is decidedly the way he incorporated a lot of his earlier writing in it. Those poems, letters, stories and e-mails show an incredible depth of feelings and emotions, and make it much easier for the reader to understand the process, the quest, and the healing described within this memoir.

While “The Sighing of Rose-Breasted Cockatoos” by Robert Ensign should definitely be compulsory reading for any adopted person, it carries a much broader message, and one that would be beneficial to those in need of healing, or simply those who need to learn how to be truly honest with themselves. Last but not least, this is also a book that will appeal to lovers of competent and precise writing, which at the same time managed to stay refreshingly down-to-Earth and candid.

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