Book Review: Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

From the day when I read Marble Collector which showed a deep father-daughter relationship, Cecelia Ahern has managed to captivate my senses through Lyrebird. A story that is not just romantic, but also soulful. It’s a perfect book to understand how it feels when a person is uprooted from their private sanctuary and thrown to the world. It’s a soulful read with characters that are beautiful in their own way, especially Laura, our Lyrebird.

As the book starts, the film-making trio consisting Bo, Solomon and Rachel are on their way to Toolin Farm in the wilds of west cork to cover the funeral of Tom Toolin, one of the twins that they covered in their debut documentary. They want to pay respects to the surviving brother Joe Toolin, but the Director Bo wants to keep the camera rolling and cover everything that would happen after Tom’s death. She has seen the twins living together all their life, but now she would like to see how will Joe manage his life and the huge farm without his other half.

Though according to Solomon, Bo’s soundman and also the boyfriend, Bo’s approach is crass, but agrees to follow her lead with the camera person, Rachel. While shooting the documentary, they come across some of the facts which lead them to a small house in the distant part of the farm which Tom used to look after. And that’s how Solomon meets Laura, the Lyrebird.

When they first encounter each other, Laura starts making sounds so real and terrifying that everybody comes rushing to Solomon’s rescue. But then they all get trapped in the mystique beauty of Laura, and learn about her solitary existence in the house, without Joe ever noticing. Laura also discloses that Tom was her father, and she was not aware that he has passed away. Laura is heartbroken and doesn’t know what to do next and where her life will take her.

That’s when Bo steps in. In dire need of a new documentary subject that can awe her audience, she decides to approach Laura for the same. She explains how her extraordinary mimicry skills, which she uses to communicate her deep emotions to the world, along with her solitary existence can be a brilliant idea for her coming life and for Bo’s new project. After a heated discussion with Solomon who wants to preserve Laura’s mystique existence and deep emotions and a lot of ifs and buts with Laura, Bo manages to convince her.

But things start to go downhill when as added advertisement of Laura, Bo manages to get her on the talent show. Lyrebird aka Laura receives the much-needed motivation and applause from the public to straighten her new life out, but then the glamor and buzz world takes a toll on her inner self. Defeated and depressed, Laura falls down from the sky and goes into complete silence.
No more sounds, not even words from Laura. No Solomon to confine to. On the other hand, Bo and Solomon are trying to save their relationship.Will Lyrebird be able to spread her wings and side by side, live free and away from the gilded cage of the world?

My good part of New Year was spent with Lyrebird, surrounded with mountains, and Lyrebird has given me a great start for 2017. From the first page itself, you will feel drowning in Lyrebird’s beauty and magic. The writing is such that it’s like reading a beautiful sonnet, and an amazing insight into a deep and soulful relationship. The characters are brilliant as well as true to their nature.

There’s headstrong and practical Bo, who wants to keep things moving. The sensible Solomon, who wants a balanced life for Laura. He wants great things for her but wants to avoid sacrificing her real beauty and strength. And that’s what makes Lyrebird an amazing read. The narrative is more related to the real world as compared to other books by Cecelia Ahern which is a pleasant change.
Though I would have loved if the romantic angle of Lyrebird have been a bit more realistic. The physical desires and the complicated relation of Bo and Solomon was a bit sketchy and would have done wonders with better editing. Also, the story is a bit dragged in some parts, especially when Laura is slowly entering the real world. Ahern could have a removed a few twists here and there to make it a more compact read.

But all in all, Lyrebird makes up for refreshing and a soulful read. So make sure you grab your copy soon.

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