All the Little Bird-Hearts

A Novel

Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow ,

 
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All the Little Bird-Hearts: A Novel

About the eBook

“A poetic debut which masterfully intertwines themes of familial love, friendship, class, prejudice and trauma with psychological acuity and wit.” ─ The 2023 Booker Prize Judges

I lived for and loved a bird-heart that summer; I only knew it afterwards.
 
Sunday Forrester does things more carefully than most people. On certain days, she must eat only white food; she drinks only carbonated beverages; she avoids clocks. It's 1988, before autism was widely diagnosed. Sunday has an old etiquette handbook that guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is Dolly, her clever, headstrong teenage daughter, now on the cusp of leaving their home in the Lake District of England.

When the glamourous Vita and Rollo move in next door, the couple disarm Sunday with their charm, and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday's book. Soon they are spending loads of time together, and Sunday feels acknowledged like never before. But underneath Vita and Rollo's allure lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.

A page-turning psychological drama, All the Little Bird-Hearts is an extraordinary, often witty glimpse into the mind of an autistic woman─and a remarkable debut by an author who is herself autistic. It is also an astute portrait of a woman coming to terms with the meaning of love, of motherhood, and of authenticity, and a poignant reminder about why accepting ourselves can be so freeing. 
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