Little Bird - Book Review
by Tiffany Meuret
Black Spot Books
I received this book as an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review!
An odd yet compulsively interesting short novel about grief, Little Bird also has a great amount of humour.
Josie, grieving both her failed marriage and the death of her father, lives in her house with her small dog and drinks far too much. One day, she notices some strange vines in her backyard, which spread quickly to encompass the space, and they bring with them a skeleton. One that can talk, and they’re very critical of Josie’s life choices. Josie has to figure out whether the skeleton is a figment of her vodka addiction, or if she’s here for a positive or nefarious purpose.
If you like quirky, sardonic humour, this book is packed with it. There are so many lines that made me laugh, which helped even out the bleakness of Josie’s life.
The novel is great at balancing social critique without becoming a harangue. The jokes about certain facets of life were clearly from Josie’s warped viewpoint, while also harbouring an element of truth. There’s also the absurdity aspect of the talking skeleton who, along with the odd concept itself, has its own little quips.
Up until the last fifteen percent, I was absolutely hooked and it’s definitely a book I wish were longer because it’s such a fun and entertaining read, despite the themes of grief, alcoholism, and self-destructive behaviour. It strikes a balance between delightful, strange, and sad. Josie's downward spiral could easily be anyone's.
The one thing I wasn’t super keen on was the ending. It didn’t really have the sort of twist I was expecting from the build-up, so it was a bit of a let-down for me. I was just kind of like - oh. I did like that it didn’t go in a completely obvious direction but it just didn’t have that oomph I was hoping for. But the journey is so worth it!
What I really liked about the novel was that you weren’t entirely sure whether all of this was really happening or if Josie was just losing it. The novel has a fantastic way of unravelling the story that keeps up a wonderful pace. It’s also not really a horror, definitely not a thriller, but also not contemporary fiction. It exists somewhere in the middle, something that I don’t think would exist if we didn’t have a small press to thank.
And Po, the chihuahua, was awesome. I loved what a huge personality he has (as do most small dogs) and, of course, I was worried for him the whole time.
This is a book that I think will come back to me then and again, to the point that I’ll end up buying a copy for my shelves.