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Visit the Kalkaska County Library on Thursday April 11 from 5:00pm-7:00pm to meet local Kalkaska author (and library staff member) Debra Payne!

Fresh off the publication of her very first book, The Burden of Sparrows, the author will be present to answer questions and sign copies of the book after a short reading.

Light snacks will be provided! This event is free and open to the public. Please join us!

Questions? Call the library at 231-258-9411.

The Burden of Sparrows. A Novel. by Debra Payne.

The Burden of Sparrows: a Novel

In the tranquil wilderness of Northern Michigan, school custodian Buddy Robertson finds all that he needs: the rhythms of nature, the unpretentious companionship of Mags and their seven cats, solitude from others — and a safe escape from the loss and abuse of his childhood.

During cold months, Buddy fusses with his collections of various treasures. Winter’s end brings maple syrup production, and spring elicits the return of migratory birds. Buddy knows their calls. He eagerly anticipates the forest’s awakening in spring, the magic of summer, and the glory of autumn.

His appreciation for these pleasures comes from his grandfather and his first love, Leah. Both are gone, but Buddy can depend on the change of seasons, the golden light of dusk, and the gossip of red-winged blackbirds in April.

Buddy would love to keep his quiet existence. But when he comes face-to-face with Ben, a young boy courageously grappling with his own demons, Buddy is inspired to finally deal with his past.

In The Burden of Sparrows, author Debra Payne crafts an intimate portrait of one man’s journey to overcome trauma and shame. In the embrace of nature and newfound connections, Buddy discovers love, courage, and human resilience.

The Burden of Sparrows will pull you in and keep you turning pages. You’ll feel a range of emotions and care deeply about the characters. If you loved Where the Crawdads Sing, this book is for you!” — Mandy Remai, Seasons of Life Therapy

“As someone who is rooted in the natural world, I really enjoyed reading about Buddy’s adventures and quiet observations of the garden and woods. Despite all the distractions and craziness that life can throw at us, nature remains a constant source of comfort and inspiration. This book reminded me to be kind to myself and to stay open to change and healing, no matter how challenging it may be. Finding a community of loved ones and friends to share that journey with will only add to the beauty of life.” — Renee Penny, conservation specialist, Kalkaska Conservation District

About the Author: Debra Payne has always lived in small towns. She was born in Bolivar, New York, but she has lived in Kalkaska County, Michigan, most of her life. She was once a reporter and editor of the weekly newspaper, and she spent most of her work life at the local school district. Since retirement, she has worked part-time at the public library. She finds joy and inspiration in nature, reading, writing, painting, birding, and spending time with loved ones. The Burden of Sparrows is her first novel.

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