Saturday, June 7, 2014

All The Birds Singing by Evie Wyld

Jake Whyte is living on a remote island off the coast of England. An Australian, a woman who is farming sheep on her own, she is an outsider who spurns the company of the locals. She prefers to live and work alone until someone or something starts to kill and eviscerate her sheep. Frightened, she seeks out the help of the man who previously owned her farm. Are the sheep being killed by teens, foxes, or something even more threatening? He is unable to advise her or assuage her mounting fear. She remains on her own. Alternating chapters tell the story of how Jake came to live on this island so far from her home. In reverse chronological order we learn the story of Jake’s life: her days traveling with a sheep-shearing crew; her life with Otto, a sheep farmer; her time as a prostitute; and her life with her difficult family. These chapters drive the story, building a page-turning tension that compels the reader to guess and guess again why Jake is always on the run, why she keeps to herself, why her back is covered with scars and why she maintains a tenuous connection with her estranged family. In All The Birds Singing, Evie Wyld has created a novel of suspense and mystery, a page-turner that will keep the reader enthralled to the last page.