If you're a World War II history buff, this book is the perfect summer read.

"The Bird Skinner" by Alice Greenway tells the story of character Jim Kenneway, an ornery ornithologist, who collects and expertly skins birds for the Museum of Natural History in New York.

After an amputation of a leg, he moves to an island in Maine to drink, smoke and be left alone. But his quiet retreat changes when a woman named Cadillac comes to live with him.

Cadillac is a strong presence. She is highly intelligent and has striking looks. She is waiting to go to medical school at Yale and is only staying temporarily with Kenneway.

The book, published in 2014, is both fictionally and historically interesting. The author tells the story in flashbacks so the reader gets historical and geographical facts about the Solomon Islands during the war interspersed with the story of Kenneway's life and family.

This wealth of details takes the book out of the realm of curmudgeon-transformed-by-love to one with more nuanced and engaging textures.

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