REVIEW: A Little Bird Told Me, Marianne Holmes #BLOGTOUR

Friday, 21 September 2018

Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half? In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home. As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets… Twelve years later Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer. And atone for the part she played in it. 

Marianne Holmes' A Little Bird Told Me is a masterful evocation of the sticky, endless heat of the summer of 1976. The year seems to be a popular setting for books like this one - those with something lurking in the shadows - but it is one that makes perfect sense; throughout A Little Bird Told Me, you can feel the stifling heat, the laziness, the lethargy, the endless days under the beating sun... It builds tension and atmosphere, and makes it even more difficult to see the mystery through the haziness of the saturated summer air.
And what a mystery it was!
The book sweeps effortlessly back and forth in time from 1976 to 1988 when as young adults, Robyn and her brother return to the small town of their childhood so that she can try and make amends for an injustice she blames herself for; work out what truly happened and finally, lay it to rest. But it is in 1976 where A Little Bird Told Me really shines.
Constantly barred and ushered away from the conversations of the adults going on around her, Robyn has heard too much of them to be completely oblivious, and too little to protect herself from the danger of the situation unfolding around her. She is the perfect point-of-view character for a plot like this, as her innocence and vulnerability only increases the tension of the novel, and makes the reader want nothing more than to stand in her corner and protect her.
The danger reaching its apex almost feels like a storm rolling in, the tension of the novel being such that it reached something akin to a crescendo. I was on the edge of my seat, I had gritted my teeth, I couldn't put it down until I knew that Robyn and her brother were safe (even though I knew that, logically, they were both alive in the later time-line and therefore obviously alive).
Brimming with lyrical, haunting prose, an abundance of tension, and artfully-crafted, truly alive characters, A Little Bird Told Me is a truly accomplished and dazzling debut. And it makes, Marianne Holmes one of my authors to keep an eye on for the appearance of future brilliance.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. And for allowing me to partake in this blog tour (I love you)

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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