Author of THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO Christy Lefteri's SONGBIRDS, about a Nepali domestic worker living on the island of Cyprus who goes missing and her employer who tries to unravel her disappearance, finding herself embroiled in the deeper truths of modern slavery and colliding with a former park rancher caught up in the illegal poaching of migratory songbirds from Africa, bringing together timely themes of flight and entrapment, to Andra Miller at Ballantine
I was a huge fan of The Beekeeper of Aleppo so I couldn't wait to read Lefteri's next book. I also lived in Cyprus for a year so was even more interested to read this.
Songbirds is the heartbreaking tale of a woman who goes missing and which marks the beginning of a series of disappearances across Cyprus. The story is told from 2 perspectives and each of these protagonists experience the after affects of Nisha's disappearance in different ways. Of course, they both experience loss but Petra learns so much more about Nisha and how much she actually meant to her through this loss and Yiannis makes some bold and life changing decisions inspired by how much Nisha meant to him.
Lefteri's style of writing is excellent. She completely immerses the reader and you become so connected to the characters. I really liked how much Petra grew throughout the whole book and I felt we really became a part of her world. From getting to know Petra's neighbours, to where she lives, to her working life, Lefteri builds the bigger picture in a way that we truly get to know the characters on such a personal level.
I loved the descriptions of Nicosia and other parts of Cyprus. It really transported me back to when I lived there but I won't lie, it did open my eyes to a whole other side of it. Of course I know that every country and city has a dark side but the more I read this book, the more I started to remember a few small things that supported a lot of what we see in this book. It's so sad to know that disappearance like this happen every day without many of us realising.
So overall, I really loved this book. It was very different to The Beekeeper of Aleppo but I still loved it. I found The Beekeeper of Aleppo slightly more harrowing and a little bit more powerful but Songbirds is still excellent. It highlights an issue that many would rather ignore and the writing is so good. I can't wait to see what Lefteri comes out with next. A big thanks to Net Galley for letting me read it before it was published.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
I really liked Yiannis, he seemed like such a genuine guy.