Evie Wyld – All The Birds, Singing

Jake is living on a farm in isolation with only really Dog and her animals for company when some of her sheep are found dead. She has no idea who may be picking these animals off in the middle of the night.

The books follows Jake’s life as she looks after her farm at the start of lambing season. She’s a newcomer and is certainly an outsider, most of the people on the island certainly have been living there for all of their lives.

There is an expertly constructed second storyline running here, that of Jake’s life before moving to the island and how she came to find herself in this situation. Rather than give us a tried and tested linear story, the story is played out in reverse.

She worked on various farms across Australia before finding herself on this island and some of the revelations from her past life had me quite literally gasping at times. Her present life and her past are filled with an air of menace, terror and loneliness.

This is the work of a master storyteller, the way the narrative is developed had me totally enraptured with the story having the page turning qualities of a thriller. This is a book that, for me, sits alongside Emma Donoghue’s Room and Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, in that parts of it continue to come back and haunt me. It’s very unsettling and totally brilliant.


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