Publisher: Poolpeg Press Ltd | Published: 23rd October 2014 | Edition: Paperback
There’s an almost lyrical quality to the writing in The Songbird’s Way, which makes it a book you can truly wind down with. It was somewhat different to anything else I would normally read, so I was surprised by how much I was drawn into the mood of the story.
Great things are happening for Chrissie: after a previous career touring in a Irish music group, her teaching career now seems to be taking off. She has a relationship with a reliable man, Tim, who can offer her everything she could ever wish for, and yet, as she approaches a time of celebration on her thirtieth birthday, she is surrounded by uncertainty as to the path she feels she is destined to take in life, rather than is expected to take.
She fears that if she doesn’t confront her negative feelings soon, the changes that are happening will escalate out of her control and she could find herself being swept along in a life she cannot image herself living; she’s torn as to whether that would be such a bad thing.
Only by taking the advice her best friend and revisiting past tragedies can she find a way to move forward. But will she find the courage to decide what is right for her without hurting the people she cares about most? When she feels a mysterious affinity with an elderly lady that she reads about in the newspaper and her unusual and interesting life, this only creates more turmoil in Chrissie’s life.
Chrissie’s story is told from when she is a little girl, until the present day. We learn about her parents and the affect they still have on her life. Her mother was a travel writer and often away from home, but Chrissie relished hearing about her adventures. Her father had a stall selling records in the market, his roots firmly planted in England with his young daughter at his side; his death was a poignant moment in the book.
I really enjoyed the travel and traditional musical influences that are common thread blending the three Countries of England, Ireland and Africa into the story. Even though there’s much to contribute, at no time is Chrissie’s voice rushed and the scene-setting is sublime.
Like I say, I was surprised how much I loved Chrissie’s journey to her final destination – it was a truly memorable one.
(Many thanks to the Publisher Poolbeg for sending me a copy of this book – I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived a while ago, as I wasn’t expecting it – so a huge thank you.)
You can follow the author on Twitter: @JenBarrettEye | Publisher: @PoolbegBooks