I’d never ready any Cecelia Ahern before picking up Lyrebird – her newest book and her fourteenth to hit the shelves. The book was sent to me for review by Harper Collins and I was immediately struck by the sophistication of the book cover – which was in fact a pre-cursor to the cover currently on display – the one I have is black and gold and it’s very striking.
I would always have associated Cecelia in the great bit bracket of chick lit – and as I’m not a fan of the genre generally speaking – you can see why it’s taken me till now to get my hands on a Ahern novel and actually read it.
If you follow the publishing industry, you’ll know however that the term ‘chick lit’ is almost outdated now. Writers and readers have moved on – and the cover to this book is one clue alone, that Cecelia Ahern has certainly done that with this novel.
I liked the storyline of the book from the start – it was something I’d never come across before or imagined – a woman who can make any sound possible, imitating noises and voices just like the famous lyredbird from Australia. (If you’ve ever watched David Attenborough, it’s the bird who sits at the top of trees making chainsaw noises. Think parrot on speed).
The story opens with a TV production team zooming through the Irish countryside on their way to a funeral of a former star of their award winning documentary – an elderly man who lived a lonely existence on the side of a mountain with his brother. It is during the visit back to the man’s homestead, that they come across the lyrebird, a beautiful girl called Laura.
Taking her under their wing (pun intended) documentary maker Bo her boyfriend Solomon decide to take charge of talented but troubled woman and make her the focus of a new television programme. The book follows what happens to both the lyrebird and the couple’s relationship as they struggle to bring her into a modern world she seems to know nothing about.
From about a third of the book on, the story line focuses on a TV talent show, exactly like Britain’s Got Talent, led by a TV star, who seems to be a copy of Simon Cowell. It wasn’t where I expected the book to go, but I did like the psychology and observational writing behind it and had me thinking about all the ‘stars’ who come through these shows, with remarkable talent and who can find themselves controlled, manipulated and signed into contracts that takes all their freedom away.
I enjoyed the relationship too – I felt it reflected well on how many adult relationships end up – it’s not always drama and fireworks.
For my first Ceceila Ahern novel I found it an enjoyable read – I thought it flowed well and had an unusual and striking plot idea. It was one of those books that I was able to read quickly – I didn’t notice the pages flowing by. And I quite fancied the male lead – always a plus for the reader!
With thanks to Harper Collins for providing this copy of Lyrebird in return for an honest review.