twitcher: (n) 1. somebody or something that twitches 2. a birdwatcher who will go to extreme lengths to spot rare birds
After getting busted being drunk and defiant one too many times by her parents, wild and impulsive Trin is shipped from Ohio to Ecuador to spend the summer before her senior year with her estranged uncle Marcus (Marco) Flint. At Marco’s hacienda/hotel Trin is forced to work harder than she ever has taking care of the current guests -- a group of fanatical “twitchers,” who will do anything to capture a look at the native birds of Ecuador. While she was restless and unhappy in Ohio, Trin doubly yearns to escape the stinging, biting Amazonian elements, the Quechua Indian squatters camping on her uncle’s expansive property and, especially, the twitchers, who wake her up at ungodly hours to spot birds and throw odd requests for materials and services at her. Were it not for Benton Reynolds, one of the twitcher leaders, and his interest in her, Trin is sure she would have run into the jungle-covered mountains to find a saner place to be exiled. But Benton, the boy with the biggest birding badge and binoculars, may just be the one who shows Trin how to stop her restless twitching and find peace in her own skin, no matter where she is in the world.
Katie succeeded. She strove and rose and finished and won. Even before she started to crawl, my dad was calling her Katie-did, kind of like the cricket katydid, only while the crickets are experts at camouflage, my sister stood out like a shock of giggle and grace and bright color in the bland backdrop of our Ohio town. She fluttered into rooms, all long limbs and blond strands. She’d settle in a spot and blink and preen and laugh and live. And every eye would be on her. When she fluttered away, she’d made an impression. A deep, lasting one. And she never even tried.
And it occurs to me that I hate these birds. I hate that all these people travelled thousands of miles to come and look at them. To catch a fucking five-second glimpse at one so they could say they did. Then talk about how it made their year. How it completed their lives. Just like Katie made people feel full and whole and happy by simply smiling in someone’s general direction.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my sister. She’s good to me. I’ll just never be as good as her.