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All the Birds, Singing | [Evie Wyld]

All the Birds, Singing

Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something - or someone - picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast.... And there is also Jake's past....
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Publisher's Summary

From one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists comes a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past: a story of loneliness and survival, guilt and loss, and the power of forgiveness.

Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something - or someone - picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast.... And there is also Jake's past - hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back - a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.

©2014 Evie Wyld (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (51 )
5 star
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3.6 (45 )
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4.1 (44 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sparkly SF, CA, United States 05-04-14
    Sparkly SF, CA, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2010

    interested in history, science, and pulp fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    29
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    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "Strange, Delicate, Brutal"

    Another word that comes to mind here is "original." This is a wonderful yet brutal story, rather short, and with such delicate notes in the prose and elliptical storytelling…it is a unique book. It is told in the first person, so that I didn't catch the character's name for quite a long time. She is near feral, which creates an uncertainty in the reader's relationship to her. And she speaks with a certain naiveté that made me nervous about her vulnerability. Yet her details are so vivid that one can't wait to put the pieces together. I don't want to give up too much of the story - there is hurt, guilt, self-loathing, avoidance behaviors, and violence. Also sheep, tears, dust, rain, and possibly redemption. Highly recommended for the reader of mysteries looking for something different. The narrator fit the story perfectly, in my opinion.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler 10-16-14
    Tyler 10-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    30
    6
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    Story
    "An OK book"

    I liked most of the book. I like the back and forth storytelling that slowly reveals how Jake
    got to where she is. It was a bit more disturbing than I had anticipated but then as her story unfolds you understand why. The other characters, however, seemed to be barely developed. Although that might be a part of her lifestyle, it still left you wondering what happened to other characters. The end was jarring and made me guffaw slightly. It is another book that has fallen victim to the fine line of how to end a book inconclusively yet satisfactory. However, I still enjoyed this book more than most other typical fluff out there.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 01-07-15
    Catherine 01-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    53
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    Story
    "Unusual literate storytelling"

    The characters were intriguing and revealed in flashbacks going in reverse chronological order. The storyline was quite compelling and the prose was beautiful and descriptive. Some details were creepy and disturbing, but/and very effective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BG853 Encore, Monroe NJ 09-29-14
    BG853 Encore, Monroe NJ 09-29-14 Member Since 2014

    Barbara G

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    19
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    Story
    "One Story Forward, One Story Backward"

    Two stories told in alternating chapters; the present going forward and the past going backwards. Gripping well told story which stays with you after you are done.

    Jake is a sheep farmer on an unnamed English island who wants to know what has been killing her sheep. Jake is also someone with a past. That past in Australia unfolds as her hunt for the present menace moves forward.

    While concurrent stories don't always flow easily (I didn't like the beginning of the Narrow Road to the Deep North for just that reason). Here the forward and backward ebbs and flows work beautifully. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Leeds, MA, USA 12-21-14
    Diana Leeds, MA, USA 12-21-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    5
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    "New On My Best Book Shelf"
    Any additional comments?

    Beloved. The English Patient. The Poisonwood Bible. All the Pretty Horses. And now--All The Birds, Singing. Evie Wyld has extraordinary talent. This is the tale of a haunted protagonist, told by a poets' mind with simple and direct language. Dark and elemental. A woman keeps sheep on an island off Britain. Something is disemboweling them. In alternating chapters, the story progresses forward on the Island, and backwards on an Australian sheep station. The plot should be difficult to follow, but it isn't--it should be gimmicky, but it is necessary and compelling as we are drawn deeper and deeper into this young woman's history. I'm rarely blown away, but I'm blown away. Well performed too. I urge you to listen to this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Robey Enosburg Falls, Vermont United States 08-19-14
    D. Robey Enosburg Falls, Vermont United States 08-19-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "All the Birds, Singing"
    What would have made All the Birds, Singing better?

    By me not reading it.


    What could Evie Wyld have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not written it.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The accents were good and the reader made it so that you could easily tell one character from another.


    What character would you cut from All the Birds, Singing?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    This was one of the worse books I have ever listened to or read. I had read others' reviews, so kept hanging in there thinking the story would get better. I was confused the whole time with what was going on during what part of the main character's life. There was a huge disconnect for me and the ending was just so bizarre. It left everything hanging out there and I never could figure out if there was supposed to be a point to this story or what! It was crude and a lot of the scenes just weren't necessary for the story. I will never read or listen to anything else of this author's.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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