Cecelia Ahern has been my favourite author since I love Rosie or Where Rainbows End, however you want to say it, I have been loving this woman’s work since the early 2000s. I think I first picked up one of her books when I had just moved to England in 2006, and I have purchased and read every single one of her books since then. Lets just say I am a dedicated fan! So because of this, I am sometimes preparing myself to hate her next book, to feel disappointed… lets see shall we.
Onto the review!
“The more time she is spending around people, the more she discovers of her own character failures. In the cottage she was generous, she was kind, she was positive. In this world new sides of her are emerging and she doesn’t like it. She thought she was a better person than this.”
Lyrebird follows the story of Laura a girl who has lived secluded from the modern world and her family all her life. No one knows she exists until one day she bumps into a man in a forest, Solomon, a documentary maker and his partner Bo. Through this chance meeting Laura is plucked from her life of seclusion, peace and quiet into the limelight of Dublin, where she goes through a truly transformative journey like a caterpillar waiting to emerge. A story of love, self discovery and growth, that goes beyond that and also becomes a social commentary. I LOVED IT.
I always knew Cecelia Ahern was a genius, I mean she wrote If You Could See Me Now and it was just incredible, as all her other novels, but this, this is something new. I don’t know if she purposely did this, but Lyrebird to me became a commentary on the issue we have this day and age with oversharing. Laura’s seclusion and then sudden push into stardom is almost a perfect reflection of society losing themselves in the limelight of social media. For me, the quote above says it all, Laura was losing herself in the limelight, much like many people lose themselves in social media and lose their humanity. The search for likes and views and publicity is so vivid in the novel, which again mirrors our own realities! And Laura, understandably, felt lost, confused, overwhelmed, and she almost did lose herself. Her salvation at the end is the best, simply perfect, because we all want to believe that we are redeemable. For me the highlight was to see Bo’s redemption simultaneously, especially as she had to give up Solomon. Ahern makes us hopeful that there might be a shift, people might start appreciating nature more, human connection that is genuine, not wasting their time searching for likes from people they will never meet.
As a love story, I hated and loved it. I was enraged at Solomon that his focus would just shift, and not once did he ever really, truly try to be with Bo after he saw Laura. I felt so frustrated that he wasn’t more of a man to admit to Bo that things were wrong, actually I was furious at both of them that they suffered for so long in each other’s miserable company. However, after reading it, I had a sense of familiarity. How many of us drag on and hold on to something out of habit, fear of the unknown, complacency? Bo’s and Solomon’s broken relationship is recognisable, and if anything we commend him for not betraying Bo and for trying to keep it together even when he knew there was no hope.
Laura as a character is also a tricky one. She is not instantly likable, mostly because it is very difficult to identify yourself with someone who knows nothing. Seclusion is not something any of us are aware of, especially this isolation from a world that is always so switched on, alive online. However, her morals and values are what touches the reader and compels us to continue engaging in her story. We know that although she isn’t today’s instafamous 26 year old, she is today’s strong woman who loves the environment and is as lost as we all are in what to do with her life. As a 26 year old myself, I felt so in tune with her lack of direction, and even though I seem to be at the start of my career, much like Laura I too find myself searching for options.
I cannot advise you more to read Cecelia Ahern’s Lyrebird, it was so much more than anything I expected and I was hooked from the very beginning. If you are a lover of stories about love, self growth and discovery and maybe just a little bit of magic, then this is definitely for you!
Lyrebird is available for purchase on Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and even some local superstores such as Tesco and Asda have it stock – at least as far as I have seen!