ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Morgan McCarthy was born in Berkshire, UK, where she still lives. She has worked in a supermarket, a small independent bookstore, and, most recently, as a media analyst.
Morgan McCarthy’s THE HOUSE OF BIRDS is a beautiful and bewitching story of love, war and second chances that will be adored by readers of Kate Morton, Louisa Young and Virginia Baily.
Oliver has spent years trying to convince himself that he’s suited to a life of money making in the city, and that he doesn’t miss a childhood spent in pursuit of mystery, when he cycled around the cobbled lanes of Oxford, exploring its most intriguing corners.
When his girlfriend Kate inherits a derelict house – and a fierce family feud – she’s determined to strip it, sell it and move on. For Oliver though, the house has an allure, and amongst the shelves of discarded, leather bound and gilded volumes, he discovers one that conceals a hidden diary from the 1920s.
So begins a quest: to discover the identity of the author, Sophia Louis. It is a portrait of war and marriage, isolation and longing and a story that will shape the future of the abandoned house – and of Oliver – forever.
The House of Birds is a beautifully written book with one of the most spectacular covers I’ve seen in a long time. I am a sucker for a pretty cover, but this one really does catch your eye and dares you to ignore it’s alluring charm. It is a bit nostalgic and it perfectly fits to the mood of the novel.
Morgan McCarthy weaves together tales from the past and present so eloquently, the stories flow well together so that the reader is experiencing the mystery that Oliver is searching for the answers to but also the memories attached to the items within the old house and how they relate to Sophia Louis.
Oliver’s search is captivating reading, the memories he unearths add a richness to both the past and the present. The interwoven narration from Sophia gives a wonderful insight in to her character, the oppressive societal struggles for women in this time and several emotive topics are written with care and sympathy where necessary, but also detailed to show that McCarthy has done her research to ensure authenticity. Each character in this has their own appealing qualities (or unappealing as the case may be), they are are carefully and thoughtfully constructed.
The vivid descriptions in this book are spectacular, the detail given about the house means that the reader is more than able to envision the setting clearly. There is great care given to the description of people also, the description of a young Kate when Oliver sees her cycling on her way home from school conjures a crystal clear image of the young girl, with hair so perfect on her white bike, and the small detail of her catching his eye ‘like a unicorn’ gives the reader a small insight into the flowing prose awaiting them later in the book.
McCarthy’s writing is a delight to read, so natural and expressive which truly makes this a delight to read.