The Strange Courtship of Abigail Bird

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Winner of Indie Award in General Fiction category

Beset by awkward interpersonal skills and an obsession with classic literature, Ishmael Archer seems destined for the lonely professorial life at the academic backwater of Longfellow College. While he yearns for female companionship, a recent acrimonious divorce has left him in a state of emotional fragility. Struggling to pay his rent, Ishmael is obliged to undertake one of his most dreaded tasks: teach a summer creative writing class. Convinced that he will be saddled with a group of student malcontents who care not a whit for Tolstoy or Dickens, Ishmael is delighted to encounter the luminescent Abigail Bird, whose passion for literature equals his own. Their burgeoning romance is cut abruptly short when Abigail suffers a traumatic head wound and falls into a coma. Distraught, Ishmael reads the unconscious Abigail passages from her most cherished novels. When she finally awakes, however, Abigail is inexplicably changed and Ishmael must find a way to connect with the Abigail Bird with whom he had originally fallen in love.

Peppered with an enthralling cast of characters—a college dean obsessed with orchids, a Greek landlord with a deep affinity for the works of Ernest Hemingway, and a self-important writer who vies with Archer for Abigail’s affections—The Strange Courtship of Abigail Bird is a heart-warming tale of love, loss, and rediscovery.

Advance Praise for The Strange Courtship of Abigail Bird

“John Blumenthal has created in his narrator Ishmael Archer a character who is at once charming, entertaining, and thoroughly original. Archer’s courtship of the beautiful Abigail may indeed be strange, but it is also poignant and heart-meltingly romantic. A delightful read.”
—Lindsay Maracotta, bestselling author of Dead Hollywood Moms Society and Adorably Dead

“Literature is the aphrodisiac in this charming and hopeful love story between delightfully eccentric characters.”

—Cherise Wolas, author of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby and The Family Tabor

“There are belly laughs among the pangs of heartache, loss and discovery. For a humorous novel, the book is surprisingly touching, the depth unusual. Such a gloriously refreshing change.”

— Sue Russell, award-winning author of Lethal Intent

“Blumenthal’s hilariously descriptive language is a delight.”

The Washington Review

“Blumenthal has a Woody Allen-like ear for dialogue.”

The Kindle Book Review

“Blumenthal has a jaundiced eye and a wonderfully ironic style”

LA Daily News