From one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful new 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.
About the Author
EVIE WYLD grew up in Australia and London, where she currently resides. She received an M.A. in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the recipient of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize and a Betty Trask Award.
Praise for All the Birds, Singing…
Reviews from the UK
“Completely and utterly monumental.” —BBC Radio 4
“Wyld reconfigures the conventions of storytelling with a sure-footedness and ambition which belie her age . . . What makes the book so outstanding is the beauty and simplicity of the writing . . . Second novels are notoriously difficult to pull off, especially when the first received prizes, but this one is terrific. Wyld’s two books are quite as good as Ian McEwan’s early fiction. Expect to hear her name often from now on . . . Evie Wyld is the real thing.” —The Spectator
“Powerfully original.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Extraordinarily accomplished, one of those books that tears around in your cerebellum like a dark firework, and which, upon finishing, you immediately want to pick up again . . . For all its darknesses All the Birds, Singing gleams with humour and kindness, moments of humanity that redeem almost everyone in the book.” —Financial Times
“At once energetic and dark . . . Vividly drawn . . . When the birds do ‘sing,’ and Jake’s primal tragedy is revealed, it is clever and very unexpected indeed.” —The Guardian
“Unsettling, beautiful, horrifying and moving in equal parts, I haven’t read anything quite like All the Birds, Singing for a long time . . . In the flawed but vulnerable character of Jake, she’s created someone you can’t help but care for, root for and desperately want the best for . . . There is no disputing the power of the story and the beauty of Wyld’s writing. It’s an extraordinary book.” —Stylist
“Some novels are crafted with such care that it seems a shame reviewers should get to paw them before readers have the chance to admire their intricacy . . . Wyld keeps us guessing for the length of this ingeniously constructed narrative.” —Literary Review
“For once, the hype matches the talent . . . Wyld’s writing seems to come from somewhere deep; somewhere a little bit unnerving and odd. [It] is precise, intense, haunting, and poetic.” —Sunday Times
“Nominated for numerous awards for her debut, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, Wyld has now delivered an equally indelible and atmospheric second novel that will have the hairs on the back of your neck working overtime . . . An intensely involving tale of survival, shot through with Wyld’s distinctive wit.” —Daily Mail
“Evie Wyld takes a major leap forward with this second book . . . A hair-prickling thriller . . . Jake is a fascinating narrator. Wyld is particularly good at evoking the texture of life on the margins, of communities and people living on the periphery. But it’s the quality of her prose that really blows your mind—lyrical without being cloying, full of violence and beauty, and when it needs to be, as spare as the unforgiving landscape of Jake’s adopted island.” —Metro
“Wyld [has] considerable skill with plot . . . Tim Winton is a writer with whom the fearless Wyld deserves serious comparison.” —Daily Telegraph
“All the Birds Singing shows the author cementing her reputation as a literary novelist to reckon with . . . An eerie, creepy kind of existential thriller, yet also a dense, powerful character study at the same time . . . Utterly convincing and engaging.” —Big Issue