#bookreview The Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern published by @HarperCollinsUK

Do you know what a Lyrebird is? I confess that I didn’t. It is a bird that mimicks other sounds.

They are most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment, and the striking beauty of the male bird’s huge tail when it is fanned out in courtship display. Lyrebirds have unique plumes of neutral-coloured tailfeathers and are among Australia’s best-known native birds.”

Amazon blurb:

In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.

When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her.

But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings – or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free…

Lyrebird is a thoughtful, deeply moving love story; a story of the wild heart in us all and the quiet that lies underneath the world’s noise.

My reading experience:

The prologue gives the reader the pivotal moment of meeting the Lyrebird and then swoops back to how this moment came about.

I found this book to be a beautiful ethereal-like meander through an exotic life, no evidence of its existence, no firm family ties only glittering threads of delicate connections. The contrast of her discovery is like that of coming up from under water, and she is exposed, exploited, yet loved too. As is our human nature we make the unknown into spectacle, and in an era where lots of tv shows are mostly circus sideshows of “reality” and “celebrity”, we gaze at the macabre, the exotic, the freaks and the novelties for our entertainment. Who knew we were still so Victorian! But our villains also love their spectacle – they want to bring her out of the shadows, they think she is beautiful, they want people to accept her for who and what she is. They just don’t know how fragile she is.

Is this a love story? In my opinion, it is a story about courtship, a ritual, between two people of the same “species.”

The author wound the story around Laura very cleverly, using wordplay so subtle it ingrains the sense of an exotic bird locked in a cage until she is finally set free by being “seen.”

Themes: Spectacle, freakshow, friendship, courtship, reality tv, differences, performers


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