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Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something - or someone - picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast.... And there is also Jake's past - hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back - a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sparkly on 05-04-14
Strange, Delicate, Brutal
Another word that comes to mind here is "original." This is a wonderful yet brutal story, rather short, and with such delicate notes in the prose and elliptical storytelling…it is a unique book. It is told in the first person, so that I didn't catch the character's name for quite a long time. She is near feral, which creates an uncertainty in the reader's relationship to her. And she speaks with a certain naiveté that made me nervous about her vulnerability. Yet her details are so vivid that one can't wait to put the pieces together. I don't want to give up too much of the story - there is hurt, guilt, self-loathing, avoidance behaviors, and violence. Also sheep, tears, dust, rain, and possibly redemption. Highly recommended for the reader of mysteries looking for something different. The narrator fit the story perfectly, in my opinion.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By BG853 on 09-29-14
One Story Forward, One Story Backward
Two stories told in alternating chapters; the present going forward and the past going backwards. Gripping well told story which stays with you after you are done.
Jake is a sheep farmer on an unnamed English island who wants to know what has been killing her sheep. Jake is also someone with a past. That past in Australia unfolds as her hunt for the present menace moves forward.
While concurrent stories don't always flow easily (I didn't like the beginning of the Narrow Road to the Deep North for just that reason). Here the forward and backward ebbs and flows work beautifully. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful