Why did I choose this book?
I noticed the striking cover first in Kirkcaldy Waterstones, followed by honing in on the intriguing title ‘Songbirds’ and the blurb, which instinctively drew me in. It also continued my Greek flavour since it was set in Cyprus.
Did I feel empathy for a particular character?
Although Nisha was rarely far from my thoughts as I was reading ~ Where was she? Why was she missing? Was she safe? ~ it was Petra who struck a chord with me. She realised that, even after having Nisha in her house, helping to run their lives and looking after her child for so many years, once she had disappeared Petra knew very little about her ‘maid.’ Isn’t that true of many of our relationships with people? How many of them are superficial? More recently, we have found the quality of our friendships has been enhanced by actually going away together; having enough time to really talk about issues which matter to us and find out what we have in common.
Petra, however, really cared about Nisha, even when the authorities were dismissive about ‘foreign workers’ disappearing. That made Petra even more determined to find Nisha or to discover what happened to her. She was devastated by Nisha vanishing so suddenly. Was she safe? I felt every anguish and heartbreak along the way.
Is there a lasting thought or memory from the book which remains with me long after the novel is finished?
Several questions really, about the meaning of life? Do we only really value people when they are gone from our lives? How many of our friends and acquaintances do we really know and understand? Who do we take for granted? A haunting book, certainly.