The real tragedy of Rosemary's story was that of a family which could accept nothing but perfection. Rosemary could have had a wonderfully productive life, but a combination of the time's lack of understanding of people with developmental disabilities coupled with a level of society which could not tolerate flaw or deficiency combined to make this poor girl's life one of constant worry and frustration, and then one of total debilitation as her mind was destroyed. The latter chapters discussing President's Kennedy's championing of legislation to support the developmentally disabled and the family's founding of private organizations for their aid was a poor substitute for the care that they should have shown to their own flesh and blood. A sad but very worthy read.
The plot--Harley Jackson's cow Tina Turner gives birth to a calf on Christmas Eve, with the likeness of Jesus Christ himself played out in spots on the calf's side. The rest of the events spool out from here, with Harley first trying to cover up the miracle birthmark, then trying to manage the fall out when the "calf is out of the bag," so to speak. The explosive climax is achieved thanks to the aforementioned quirky characters, and all ends happily (spoiler!), but not in the way I was envisioning. The overall effect is a sweet stroll through rural Wisconsin, with some bumps in the road, ending on the top of McCracken Hill at dusk. Curtain.
As I listened to key players come and go (and go and go), I was reminded of the revolving door that's been installed at the executive mansion. All the crazy that you THOUGHT was going on during the election, during the transition, during the first 100 days, and during the first 6 months of Trump's presidency is only scratching the surface of crazy. So. Much. Crazy.
OK, on to the review. Detective Cormoran Strike is former--former military, former fiance, former bipedal. He is failing miserably as a gumshoe when two things happen in succession--he is sent an amazing temporary office assistant named Robin, and a new client walks into his office asking him to investigate the "suicide" of supermodel Lula Landry--the Cuckoo of the title. These two coincidental occurrences start to turn Strike's life around, at least as far as putting his bank account back into the black and getting his mind off of his former fiance. I found the plot completely engaging, the characters (especially Strike and Robin) on par with what I've come to expect from Rowling. I simply did not want this to end (and Audible narrator Robert Glenister was a treat to listen to!) I can't wait to get the next two installments.