This was a dark and interesting story. It takes place in Sparta, New York (a fictional place) primarily during the 80s. The story revolves around an unsolved murder that connects two teenagers. Krista Diehl’s father is one of the main suspects in the murder of Zoe Kruller. Zoe’s son, Aaron, refuses to believe that his father (another potential suspect) could have killed his mother, despite his abusive nature. Krista is just as sure that her father couldn’t possibly have been the killer. Krista and Aaron’s lives are now connected and they can’t seem to escape one another.
Little Bird of Heaven is broken up and told from the perspective of both Krista and Aaron. We see what they went through as teenagers while also getting a chance to hear from them as adults when they suddenly re-enter each other’s lives in an attempt to hopefully gain some closure.
The narration was dark and slightly hypnotic. It’s more about Aaron and Krista and how they react to one another and the tragedy in their lives than it is about solving the murder which is central to the story. I’m curious to check out more of Oates’s earlier work – this didn’t wow me, but her novel, Blonde, definitely did.