#bookreview A Thousand Paper Birds by @TorUdall published by @circusbooks

A constellation of silent grief and loneliness, beauty, love and loss in Kew gardens. Jonah, Chloe, Milly and Harry all linked together by Audrey, who has shifted off this mortal coil for another world.

The Guardian describe it as “magical realism in Kew Gardens.”

Amazon describe it as a man trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of his life after the tragic death of his wife Audrey. Weathering the seasons and learning to love again, he meets Chloe, an enigmatic origami artist who is hesitant to let down her own walls.

In the gardens he also meets ten-year old Milly, and Harry, a gardener, both of whom have secrets of their own to keep – and mysteries to solve.

My reading experience:

Philosophical, soul searching, introspective, with striking observations on life and death, our author has created a uniquely compelling story about grief and the invisible threads that bind us, both in this life and the hereafter.

Harry was trying to remember how to cross the unfathomable distance between himself and another human being.”

Harry has a secret he’s trying to keep. Jonah is trying to get a good nights sleep. Chloe is trying to work out how to live her life through the art of folding paper because she knows in the folding she can find meaning and purpose. Milly hasn’t worked out why she sleeps on a bench at Kew instead of having parents. It’s a puzzle, and one in which people are connected and saved by each other. Love, longing … life.

There are so many stop and think moments in this book – too many to list here. The author is clearly an insightful, emotionally intelligent creature with tender life experiences and imagination. Tor Udall has written an ethereal story of tragedy and hope. What appears to be a tale of mourning is actually a haunting love story.

Themes: death, afterlife, miscarriages, insomnia, hopes, time


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