Title: Where the sweet bird sings
Author: Ella Joy Olsen
Published by: Kensington Books
Publication date: 29 August 2017
Genre: General Fiction
Mareli’s rating: 3 stars
Recommend to: Lovers of adult fiction that deals with loss and grief
Description: People respond to tragedy in different ways. Some try to move on. Some don’t move at all. A year after her young son’s death due to a rare genetic disease, Emma Hazelton is still frozen by grief, unable and unwilling to consider her husband Noah’s suggestion that they try to have another child.
As the future Emma once imagined crumbles, her family’s past comes into sharp relief. Searching for the roots of her son’s disease, Emma tries to fit together the pieces in her genealogical puzzle. Hidden within an old wedding photograph of her great-grandparents is an unusual truth Emma never guessed at—a window into all the ways that love can be surprising, generous, and fiercely brave . . . and a discovery that may help her find her own way forward at last. (Netgalley)
“You asked why a person would lie? I’ll tell you. It’s because you can’t bear the weight of the enormous mess you’ve made, because you pray things will work out for the best, or they’ll change given enough time. At first, it’s avoidance of pain, but the truth drifts away, the distance between reality and the original lie are so far removed from one another, the situation can’t be bridged with words. Soon, the lie is the truth. The lie dictates how things are in reality.”
I’ve requested this book from Netgalley and Kensington Books at the beginning of this year when I went through a similar heartache as Emma. I hoped that this book would help me to deal with my own sorrow and pain. That it did. What a beautiful written book!
Emma’s emotions and thoughts were captured very realistically. Her inner struggle and despair were heartfelt. She was a strong leading character, maybe a bit too strong as a couple of the other characters came across as part of a puppeteer show. Especially the “historical” characters. Loved the plot and story of her genealogical heritage and the way that Emma went about to uncover her family history had a strong ring of truth.
Although it kept my attention and I desperately wanted to uncover the truth alongside Emma, it just never became real. Alternating story-lines might have captured it. The truth about Emma’s grandfather was a lovely and heartbreaking story and it ones again proofed just how strong a family can be.
“There are many things that connect one person to another. It could be shared history. Or biology. It could be blood. Or it could be love.”
I haven’t read the companion to Where the sweet bird sings, Root, Petal, Thorn, but I will try to get my hands on it. Although the two novels are not a sequel, I do believe it might be to the reader’s advantage to read both of these.
Ella Joy Olsen has a beautiful writing style and there were a number of beautiful truths captured between the pages of Where the sweet bird sings. I will carry these words of comfort and providers of hope with me for a long time.
A big thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this novel and to Ella Joy Olsen for her lovely words.
“It’s not what happened to you years ago, it’s what you do from this point forward. The next step is more important than dwelling on past mistakes”.
|House of Maria – Feel His Grace