Author: Cecila Ahern
Format: uncorrected proof
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction
A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.
When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…
My rating: 5 stars
A beautiful, lyrical read.
Lyrebird is a stunning reminder to stop and take a look at the abundant beauty that surrounds us. It is an ode to the ordinary that hides the extraordinary. It is reminiscent of the sweetness of a love based on mutual respect and appreciation and comfort.
When I saw the cover and the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued. It looked like it would be an interesting read. What is so special about this girl that these documentary makers want to film her? What goes wrong that this Solomon guy is unsure about sharing or protecting something precious. Is this girl, who they’ve named Lyrebird, the precious thing? Why?
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from HarperCollins Canada and thought I would share my thoughts with you.
And boy, are there a lot of those thoughts.
I devoured this book.
I could not put it down. Or, at least, I didn’t want to. But, with a job and life, I had to. I greedily reached for it during my morning and evening commutes. I snarled for it on my lunch break. I stayed up late to finish it, to dwell in it, despite being emotionally drained from a family emergency needing to go to work the next day.
The characters, especially Solomon, Laura, and Bo, are so interesting. They are layered. They are complex. They have internal struggles and external struggles. They have real personalities, relationships, and idiosyncrasies. Even Jack and each member of the Fallon family are intriguing and layered, albeit not as much as the three main characters. I only wish I could have seen more of Rachel and learned more about who she is and how she ended up in the mix.
The concept of this story is so, so interesting too. I’m not a huge fan of documentaries or reality television. But the two collide in this novel and I loved it. It was an interesting juxtaposition – telling the truth as it is versus creating the reality that makes the best entertainment.
And then, there was probably my favourite part of this novel–Solomon and Laura’s relationship. I love the depiction of how one person, that one person, can make someone feel safe, secure, comfortable. No matter the situation, having that person around makes you feel okay. Cecelia Ahern portrayed this in a beautiful way. It was subtle enough that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure where she was going to go with it. But it was still authentic and felt right.
The story, alone, is intriguing and fun and entertaining and heart-wrenching and honest.
And the writing… I loved it too.
I’ve never read anything else by Cecelia Ahern. Now, I realize that I need to.
The writing flows. It is seamless. The story takes centre stage. The point-of-view transitions perfectly, smoothly, without any confusion.
The language Cecelia uses is lovely. Her description creates the scene, coerces the reader to notice what she wants you to notice. The characters’ dialogue and thoughts and feelings and actions are written uniquely for each. There is no overlapping. Each character’s voice and presence is just right, just them.
I already want to reread this book. I want to read it over and over again.
I want to be able to write like this.
I can’t remember the last time I loved a contemporary novel this much.
I’m rambling. And I’m okay with that.
This is one of those novels that sticks with you. It makes you think. Makes you notice the sounds, the images, the smells that surround you. It makes you think about why you notice what you notice and why you don’t notice what you don’t notice. It makes you wonder why some things are important to you. And whether or not they should be.
I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately. This book makes me want to read more adult and general fiction. It is elegant. It is full of the struggle to understand yourself and your feelings. It is honest. It is beautiful.
Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from HarperCollinsCanada in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion of the book.