From the first page, I was charmed by this memoir. Nikki Moustaki writes about her loving relationship with her grandfather, Poppy, and how he introduces her to the world of birds. His most frequent tales are of the Paris Marché aux Oiseaux, the bird market.
However, Poppy is a teetotaler and Nikki becomes enamored of alcohol ... eventually becoming an alcoholic. Still, she manages to look after her birds ... until Hurricane Andrew, during which she loses all but about a dozen of them and heads further into the bottle to assuage her guilt.
Moustaki writes frankly about her battles with drinking, and the moment in which she decides to try sobriety instead. It's not an easy road, with many a backslide ... and even her birds are affected.
Highly recommended for fans of memoirs, and Francophiles.