Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for the stunning new novel from Karen McCombie, ‘Little Bird Flies,’ illustrated by Jasu Hu. It tells the tale of Bridie, named ‘little bird,’ by her family after being born broken and bruised on a stormy night just like a damaged baby bird. Bridie lives on the remote Scottish island of Tornish, where she like her fellow islanders are at the mercy of the laird who rules over him. Her life seems simple and her future predetermined but she dreams of a different world, far across the ocean. Yet she cannot share her innermost desire because she is inextricably bound to this island by the dying wishes of her mother. But when a new Laird takes control of the island Bridie and her family lives becoming increasingly difficult and their future is no longer certain. In the most desperate of times,, what will Bridie do to protect those she loves?
I had so many strong feelings when I read this story. Rage, despair and frustration ran through my brain as I watched Bridie’s world being destroyed before my eyes. I was furious that one person’s greed and lack of compassion could selfishly destroy whole communities and I wanted to hold this new Laird to account for his uncaring and thoughtless actions. Although the year is 1861, the themes that run throughout this story are as relevant now as they were then. We still live in a world where communities are persecuted for no other reason that they are a powerless and can’t rally against those who choose to devastate their lives.
Karen has assembled the most marvellous cast of characters whose lives you can’t help but be caught up in. Bridie and her sisters are totally different, each carving out their own ways of living in this new world they find themselves transported. We also see the huge contrast between the kindness of Caroline and Samuel who use their fortune and position to make positive changes. Whilst the Laird and his wife are consumed with greed and are ruthless in their pursuit of gain. It’s a real slice of social history watching the events of the story unfold. Wonderfully atmospheric, Karen conjures up the story magnificently stimulating all of our senses with her rich, vivid descriptions. The story leaves us feeling bereft. As a reader we must know Bridie’s future, so fortunately this is just the start of this journey and we return in July to find out more in, ‘Little Bird Lands.’
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more reviews, interviews and giveaways.
Thank you to Rebecca and Nosy Crow for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. ‘Little Bird Flies,’ is available now online or in any good bookshop.