A Nifty Nest is an easy-read novel which is rather unusual for its time, being told in omniscient POV. Finch Valley is a lovely place, inhabited by cows, and a lot of finches in the hawthorn trees. Initially I wrote these as hawfinches, but then discovered this is the name of a real kind of bird, so reverted to the generic term. All is well, with the finches collecting straw, fluff, thistle seeds and such for their nests. Then the valley is sold to Mortar Construction.
Emily Mortar, child of the proprietor, is upset when she sees the beautiful valley being changed. Mr Mortar points out that people, just like finches, need a nice place to live and comforts her with descriptions of how Finch Village will look. The finches, losing their source of nest materials, are bewildered. Most of them go to live elsewhere, but one pair sticks it out.
Slowly, the village takes shape. Emily begins to see that her father is doing his best. He keeps one big hawthorn tree, and this is where the remaining finches try to make their nest.
Meanwhile, Ms Spinner opens a wool shop, Mr Knitter delights in a house where he can have his grandchildren to stay, Anna Petal begins to make paper flowers, and Mr Click, Mr Fashion and Ms Brush all settle in. Dr Bauble, a big cheerful woman, decides to hold a street party for everyone. The newcomers decorate the village and after the party, high winds blow some of the decorations down.
The finches are delighted. Drink straws, tinsel and streamers and paper flowers are taken for their nest, which glints like a jewel in the hawthorn.
The villagers love the nifty nest, and adopt the finches as a kind of mascot, arranging for nesting material in perpetuity. More finches come back to live in the valley and things move forward.
The finches now build normal nests but some of them have the occasional taste for something nifty.
This little book has the theme of change and progress, which is something I often use in my fiction. In this case, I wanted to show the positive side of progress.
Until today, A Nifty Nest was unusual in that its cover apparently existed nowhere on the internet. I took a photo of my own copy... and now here it is.
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Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)
The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.