Review: Fed to Red Birds by Rijn Collins
When this one arrived in my letterbox, beautifully wrapped and at Christmastime in Australia (and Jolabokflod in Iceland,) I was instantly intrigued. For those of us who have grown up in Australia there is often a sense of romanticism about Iceland, a place that seems so distant both geographically and in terms of climate and landscape. And this, it turns out is one of the central themes of the novel. Elva is struggling to come to terms with her new home--the customs, the language, the people--and the deep shadow that has been cast by her mother and by her grandfather's book. Depression and obsession are major themes of the book, which are handled with a level of respect and sensitivity by the author that I have rarely seen in fiction. We also see the deep sensitivity and creativity of the character through her interest in taxidermy, her work at a shop filled with curiosities and her developing (or not) relationship with Remy.
Fed to Red Birds is a beautifully written novel about the power books have, ultimately, to heal. In Elva, I have met a character who knows what it is to be lonely, to be hurting and to still be able to see the beauty all around her.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC of Fed to Red Birds.