Book review – Lyrebird Cecelia Ahern

I found this book a while ago and in true bookish fashion, wrote it on my to-be-read list (the to-be-read shelf was already bursting) and promptly forgot about it. But when visiting the bookstore with my Christmas money, I became reacquainted with this little novel.

Over the years I have read a few books by Cecelia Ahern and have always found them to have vastly different storylines and characters; the mark of a good writer. And so I picked up a copy of Lyrebird and added it to the crook of my arm where potential book sales could reside.

There was a short-listing process; involving re-reading the blurbs and at times sitting on the floor of the book store to begin to read each book. I have found over the years that this is a most effective way to make sure the actual writing is enjoyable enough to hold my attention for a few hundred pages. Lyrebird made the cut.

It was the first to be read during the post-Christmas break and the story can best be described with the same qualities of the main female character; sweet, cautious, curious, intelligent and lyrical.

There were a few times I had to remind myself exactly why this woman who has lived in seclusion her whole life could possibly be aware of so much of the world, but access to a radio, magazines and almost unlimited time will account for a lot.

My other gripe with this novel is that the point of view often jumped from one character to another within the same scene. For example, we are with her as she sits alone, then with her as she watches him walk in, then, all of a sudden, we are with him as he explains where they are going next. It is a little issue, but one which popped up several times within the novel and were not done well enough to be seamless. If I notice something like this in a book, then it means there is a break in the magic of the story which is long enough for me to analyse what it was that just went wrong in the words.

That said, the book made me listen to the world around me. It made me tune it to the array of birds, the various insects, the sprinkler working on the golf course and the rumble of the first traffic of the day. If a book has the power to make you experience life in a different way, then it is well-worth the read.

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