Friday, September 14, 2018

Book Review: A Little Bird Told Me

By Becky Gulc

‘Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half?

In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home.

As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets…

Twelve years later Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.’(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

A Little Bird Told Me is one of those books that I’ve had to leave a few days after finishing to decide how I felt about it. My conclusion? This is an atmospheric ‘classic’ feeling novel that I’m sure will stay with me. It’s wonderfully written, engaging, unnerving at times, but well-balanced.

The narrative worked so well, switching between the present and past, cementing interest in the very beginning (half evil?) and building slowly until an unpredictable clever conclusion. I loved how I was kept guessing, but what I’d been trying to guess wasn’t right!

I loved the dynamic between Robyn and her brother Kit. There’s such a strong bond there which is often played out, yet Robyn doesn’t divulge everything to him and this was frustrating at times, particularly in the ‘present day’ story, but it made for interesting consequences. The childhood narrative also made for a very interesting read; the naivety, loyalty, protectiveness, fear and hope all executed well. How this evolved into their adult stories was also gripping.

I thought this was a wonderful debut novel and Marianne is certainly an author to watch. I won’t shake this one off easily, and that’s not altogether a bad thing. A fantastic read; if you’re looking for something a bit deeper and darker, this may well be for you.

Thanks to Agora Books for the novel in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on the blog tour. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

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