Ever since reading P.S. I Love You, I have been a fan of Cecelia Ahern’s work however there is no easy way to say this but this book disappointed me. Set in Ireland, Lyrebird follows a group of documentary makers who return to the site of their break-through film. The Toolin twins have never been apart, have lived together all their lives and worked together on their farm. One of the twins they followed has passed away and out of respect they go to his funeral, one character secretly hoping to document this new angle of the remaining twin’s life. Whilst following him on the land they stumble upon a derelict cottage to find a young woman living there who has a talent for mimicry. Distressed and upset the young woman is taken under the wing of the crew and brought to the city but it is there that she learns what life is like in the world compared to the tranquil countryside.
Originally this plot really appealed to me, how interesting is it that a girl is abandoned in the woods and possesses a talent for mimicking sounds. She can mimic any noises including voices, animals, coughs, machines which make her a really intriguing character but I think I had a problem reading the book because I didn’t like her. She was supposed to come across as this humble, excluded from the real world type character and I couldn’t help but see her as a secretly intelligent and malicious character. I kept waiting for her to do something as the plot progressed.
It really didn’t help matters when I realised I didn’t actually like any of the characters in the plot and had a particular hatred for Solomon. When he finds Laura living in the woods he seems to have an immediate connection to her and is almost instantly attracted to her. Despite having a girlfriend who is also the producer, Bo, he lets his mind run wild with what he could do to Laura. I couldn’t help but find it all a little strange because this girl has been kept from society and is clearly vulnerable and all he can think about is what he will do to her if given the chance. Although she is 26 years old, she acts more like a teenager discovering the world for the first time and clearly needs guidance and a little help to get along in the real world, not some guy ogling her.
The story overall was a tad boring for me and I lost interest very quickly in the book. Yet strangely I felt the plot moved quite quickly to the extent that it became unbelievable. One day they were in west Cork, next day Dublin, they find a girl in the woods and want to exploit her, the male character is falling in love with her and everything seems to be happening at a fast rate yet not a realistic one. At the start the characters really appealed to me, here we have a career-focused producer Bo, strong willed and independent matched with a laid back audio engineer, Solomon and finally Rachel, the camerawoman in a relationship with a woman and her partner is pregnant. I was grabbed and wanted to know more because I love reading books with strong female characters and plots that have LGBT characters. However after the first third of the book I struggled to follow the plot and couldn’t understand why it went in the direction it did.
Every word I have written above has killed me because I hate saying bad things about any book but when it’s written by an author whose work I really like it’s heart-breaking. I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads because the idea behind the plot was so intriguing and yet it just wasn’t developed and used in an enjoyable way for me.