All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Image from Civilian Global

A young Australian woman with a mysterious past, a terrifyingly unknown creature killing off sheep, and a dog named “Dog”. If you would’ve told me that these seemingly unrelated ideas could combine to make a great (and award winning!) book, I probably would’ve laughed in your face.

I take back my laughter.

Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing is the story of a woman, named Jake, who has chosen a life of running, of loneliness, and of sheep farming. Oh, and her dog named Dog. As Jake’s sheep are picked off, one by one, by an unknown creature, Jake begins to confront her past, accept friendship, and stop running away. The reader follows Jake’s story backwards and forwards through time, watching as her story of prostitution, guilt, and scarring – both internal and external – unravel before his or her┬ávery eyes. Mimicking the idea of one step forward, one step back, Wyld’s story progresses in alternating chapters: odd-numbered chapters moving forwards in present-time Great Britain, while even-numbered chapters move progressively backwards through Jake’s past in Australia.

As one watches Jake be peeled apart like an onion, one begins too understand this mysterious character. Her hardships… her secrets… as those are explained, Jake is stripped bare and weathered before the reader as she looks forward to what’s to come.

All the Birds, Singing is a story of survival, of darkness, of emotional trauma and growth… and of hope. If you enjoy modern fiction and all its artistry, do not miss this novel.