More well-meaning than well-crafted, this lighthearted look at the origins of the Audubon Society, augmented by Catrow's jaunty caricatures, is overwhelmed by an essentially serious message. Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, two ladies in 1896 Boston, are appalled at the practice of fashioning hats from birds and feathers. Lasky (Pond Year, p. 713, etc.) tells readers that fin-de-siâ‰¤cle women were powerless; that never comes through in the characters' actions. Whenever the plot gets interesting, the narratives lapses into vague, impersonal history (""They decided to bring their cause to the children of the state of Massachussetts""); despite frequent dips into facts and figures, readers will never be certain where fiction ends and history begins. The truth behind this story is so fertile that the inventions used here just don't do it justice.