'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Review: Birdy Flynn

Birdy has secrets. She’s ‘one of the boys’, and loves the freedom it gives her. Martin, one of the group, who plays a small but outstanding and crucial role, knows Birdy’s most intimate secrets. 

Knowledge is power for him. Mercilessly, he physically and emotionally bullies Birdy, who is a person with great potential, but without opportunity. You empathise with her character immediately. This is the draw card.

The opening scene is vicious and gut-wrenching. It dares the reader to read on, but also introduces the state of things which are pivotal to the whole story. I nearly put the book away, but am glad I didn’t. It is a magnificent character-driven plot!

The most courageous person after Birdy is the mother. Strong and determined, she keeps the family together under the worst circumstances. The father, a brutal, unemployed alcoholic, excuses his behaviour, seeing it as the result of his wife’s Irish heritage. He makes her pay for the discrimination meted out to them by the English.

This is a compelling debut novel, with stunning characters and a complex storyline that will set you spinning. Issues of family, a place to call home, identity, bullying, transgender, strength and courage, form a powerful current of words and innuendo that sweep the reader along toward the denouement.

Title: Birdy Flynn
Author: Helen Donohoe
Publisher: Allen & Unwin $16.99
Publication Date: 26 April 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781780749396
For ages: 12+
Type: Middle Fiction