All the Birds, Singing – splitting narrative styles

All the Birds, Singing

Evie Wyld has written a compelling novel by creating two narrative threads that ultimately reveal an unexpected denouement. Opening with a horrid scene, intrigue urges the reader on in the hope of explanation or retribution. We are caught in a psychologically enthralling story, and, just when the structure begins to feel familiar, we are unsettled by an apparent resolution.

That Jake’s mysterious past is so unpredictable is testament to Wyld’s creative genius. Perhaps too challenging for even senior students, with some disturbingly graphic imagery, the structural premise is well worth summarising or exploring with English Extension classes. Numbered chapters alternate in narrative purpose: offering either a common linear exposition or a reverse chronology culminating in Jake’s teenage predicament which explains the character’s behaviour.

Clever, riveting and real.

Find out more at Random House

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2 responses to “All the Birds, Singing – splitting narrative styles

  1. The narrative structure is unusual and only becomes apparent some way in. The book is worth reading for this alone but overall, for me, was a disappointing winner of such a prestigious award. Having said that, the representation of the female protagonist is brutally authentic and quite harrowing. The episodes where she is homeless are the best in the novel.

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