Source: NetGalley/Readers First
Publisher: Manilla Press (Bonnier Books UK)
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fiction
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):
“From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, a powerful story about love, loss, hope and courage, set in the lush forests of Cyprus.
Yiannis is a poacher, trapping the tiny protected songbirds that stop in Cyprus as they migrate each year from Africa to Europe, and killing them with his bare hands to be sold illegally as a local delicacy. He dreams of finding a new way of life, and of marrying Nisha, who works as a nanny to Angela and lives in the apartment below his. Angela is Nisha’s surrogate daughter – she has left her own child behind in Sri Lanka when she came to Cyprus to find work. Angela’s mother Petra is jealous of Angela and Nisha’s bond, but feels powerless to love her own child in the way she thinks she should. When Nisha disappears, Yiannis is heartbroken and convinced he has driven her away. Petra is forced to become a mother again to Angela, who seems to hold the secret of what has become of Nisha.”
My Thoughts & Review
The story is set in Cyprus and follows two different perspectives. The first is from Petra, a widowed optician, and the second from Yiannis, who forages for wild herbs and mushrooms by day and at night he is an illegal poacher of Songbirds. Petra and Yiannis live very different lives, but they have one thing in common, and that is Nisha. Nisha moved to Cyprus from Sri Lanka nine years ago to work for Petra as a house maid and to help look after her daughter. While working for Petra, Nisha and Yiannis become close and end up dating. But just as everything is going well Nisha disappears and no one knows where she has gone. But both Petra and Yiannis are determined to find out what has happened to her.
Now, having loved The Beekeeper of Aleppo I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this one. But when I first started this Songbirds I honestly wasn’t too sure about it. I found it to be slow and was almost pushed to the edge of boredom, but as I really wanted to find out what had happened to Nisha I persevered and it was definitely worth it. At about halfway there was a shift in the pace and I really got invested in the storyline and raced through the second half.
Songbirds is very different to The Beekeeper of Aleppo, it’s not as dark, but still very powerful and haunting read at times. This is definitely a book that I will think about for a long time to come. Even after the slow start, this turned out to be a great read and would definitely recommend picking it up!!
I would like to thank NetGalley, Readers First and the publishers Manilla Press for my eARC and hardback in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.