A luminous novel that both questions and celebrates the miraculous 'fresh and brilliant ...the sort of book that keeps on unfolding in the imagination, long after you've finished reading it.' Gabrielle Lord 'It is strange and fascinating to me to think of people - Avila in particular - praying me into existence.' Nineteen-year-old Sydney Peony Kent was a longed-for IVF baby. Her mother, Avila, not only used science to conceive, but also prayed to the Bambinello, a small bejewelled carving of the infant Jesus, housed in the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome. Avila's distant relative Father Roland Bruccoli was conceived conventionally. His mother also prayed to the Bambinello before his birth - and that of his twin sister. One evening when the adult Roland is visits the church, the Bambinello is stolen. Roland hopes that Father Cosimo, archivist, poet and riddler, can help retrieve it. But when matters of belief are involved, nothing is straightforward, as Sydney discovers, too, when she is caught up in the search.
Deftly weaving together religion, science, pregnancies wanted and unwanted, love, loss and belief, Carmel Bird has created a luminous novel that both questions and celebrates the miraculous. 'Given her due, Carmel Bird would be recognised as one of Australia's finest storytellers and connoisseurs of story' Peter Pierce, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 'Bird's prose stylr delights in coincidences and conundrums, in the playful and dangerous blend of fact and fiction' Dorothy Johnston, CANBERRA tIMES
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(135mm x 211mm x 20mm)
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication:
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Book Review: Child of the Twilight by Carmel Bird - Reviewed by Boomert (10 Dec 2009)
For those who enjoy reading to indulge in the pleasure of beautiful writing then Carmel Bird’s latest novel might be just what you are after. Children of the Twilight is a deceptively complex work with great depth of both characterisation and theme. On one level the story is of love and loss, yet woven through this are the weighty themes of belief, fate and deception. Central to the story’s narrative is the theft of the religious icon named the Bambinello, stolen from a Rome monastery. Throughout the novel the concepts of birth and origin play an important part in the lives of the characters as they contend with their individual loss, search for identity or quest to unravel the mystery of the missing statue. As the story unfolds, readers are challenged by the notion of faith and led to question the ideas we live by as the story delves into the labyrinth of real and imagined beliefs. The writing is contemporary and engaging, yet manages to sustain medieval overtones drawing close connections to myth and folklore, while exploring the deeper issues of loss and the unknown. This is a carefully constructed work with a compelling storyline that keeps you guessing right until the final pages.