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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099572374
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Book Review: All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld - Reviewed by CloggieA (04 Aug 2014)
All The Birds, Singing is the second novel by British-Australian author, Evie Wyld, and winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award. The first narrative starts with Jake Whyte, currently living on an unnamed British island, finding a second of her sheep dead and mutilated, and wondering whether foxes, some other wildlife or the local teens are to blame. Jake’s isolated existence, with only her dog, Dog, and her herd of sheep for company, puzzles the locals. The second narrative starts some three years earlier, with Jake part of a sheep-shearing troupe in Western Australia. It seems that Jake is on the run from something or someone: just who is Otto? And why does Jake have scars on her back? What knowledge is it that another shearer tries to hold over her? The hints and clues will have the reader intrigued as to the events in Jake’s past that have led to her current situation. Astute readers will quickly realise that the events occurring in Australia are told in reverse order. With her evocative descriptions, Wyld sets her scenes, both the isolated, cold British island and the hot, dusty West Australian outback, with consummate ease. Her plot has twists that eventually reveal hidden depths and flaws in the prickly Jake the world is shown. While some of the subject matter can be quite confronting, there is also subtle humour contained in Wyld’s prose. A brilliant read.
Evie Wyld is the author of one previous novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, which was shortlisted for the Impac Prize, the Orange Award for New Writers and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2013 she was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, having previously been named by the BBC as one of the twelve best new British writers. All the Birds, Singing was longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. She lives in Peckham, London, where she runs the Review Bookshop.
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