Thursday 31 March 2022

Review: When We Were Birds, by Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

When We Were BirdsWhen We Were Birds by Ayanna Gillian Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another bookclub read, and a book I wouldn't have naturally chosen. It was very much a 'literary' book in that it was written in the West Indian cadence, not just in the dialogue but in the narration as well. It took a while to get used to, but gave it a rhythm and enabled the reader to completely absorb the culture and feel of the West Indian island setting through all mediums, alongside sight, sound and colours.

The book is told through the eyes of two characters: Darwin and Yejide. The chapters flick between the two, each following on from the previous chapter timeline but through the other character's eyes. It was easy to follow.

Darwin's character and story was clearly written, but Yejide's was more complicated and at the beginning unclear, making it more difficult to get into and fully understand the relationships and background between her and her family.

It's a book that encompasses the theme of death. Darwin's character's conflict of being Rastafarian, which means he isn't allowed near dead people, and taking up a job in a cemetary is pivitol in the story. Yejide comes from a line of women who are psychic and when they die they pass the gift on to their daughters. She had a disconnected relationship with her mother which makes it difficult when her mother dies, because she doesn't understand fully how she is meant to use her gift. When the two characters come together they support each other, while there is an external storyline of their relationships with others, as well as getting involved in situations that are out of their depth.

It is a moody, complicated, in some places vague, story, focusing on the difficult and painful relationships in life. It was an interesting read.

View all my reviews

No comments :

Post a Comment