Day 590: All the Birds, Singing

Cover for All the Birds, SingingBest Book of the Week!
Jake Whyte is a tall, strong young woman doing a man’s job on an island in northern England. She is keeping a sheep farm, doing the best she can at a hard job all by herself. She is haunted, though, by terrifying memories and the feeling that someone is watching her and coming into her house. Her neighbor Don thinks she’s imagining things, but there is no doubt that something is killing her sheep.

Interleaved with her struggles in the present time are scenes from Jake’s past, from the most recent backward in time to when she was a teenager in Australia. So, we slowly learn why Jake finds herself alone, feeling like an outcast from society.

This novel is haunting and in many ways reminds me of the excellent, Tethered, which I just recently reviewed, in dealing with damaged people. I don’t want to say more about it for fear of giving too much away. Let me say that the novel is extremely atmospheric and that I was completely involved in discovering the secrets from Jake’s past as well as what is hanging around her farm. It is also beautifully and sparely written, evoking a distinct personality in Jake.

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7 thoughts on “Day 590: All the Birds, Singing

  1. Naomi October 1, 2014 / 11:53 am

    I just finished reading this book, too! I loved the tension, and how her past was revealed in a backward sequence. I’m not sure if I quite got the ending, though. What did you make of it?

    • whatmeread October 1, 2014 / 1:16 pm

      Oh, boy. A better question would be, do you remember the ending? I can’t remember what happened. I do know she found out who was sneaking into the house. I don’t remember what else. I read it a month or two ago. Usually I remember them better than that.

      • Naomi October 1, 2014 / 4:18 pm

        (There are spoilers in this comment!) Jake and Lloyd were driving into town, when Lloyd saw something and asked Jake to pull over. They followed it into the woods, but it never says what it is. Also, did Lloyd really see it, or was he just pretending for Jake’s benefit?

      • whatmeread October 2, 2014 / 7:32 am

        Oh, I think it was really there. I am sure there was something in the woods.

      • Naomi October 2, 2014 / 8:09 am

        Thanks. I like that answer. 🙂

  2. Ngan R. October 2, 2014 / 10:12 pm

    Loved this book, too. I thought the ending (just to follow the comments above), much like other parts of her “current” story, demanded the reader to accept some level of superstition and skepticism. Interesting and engrossing read!

    • whatmeread October 3, 2014 / 12:53 pm

      That’s a good way to explain it.

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