Cover Image: A Little Bird Told Me

A Little Bird Told Me

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher for my eARC copy of this book. Unfortunately I didn’t love this book and therefore didn’t finish, I just didn’t connect with this one. Not for me, sorry.
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Unfortunately I just could not get into this book. It may be one for other readers, but I was unable to finish it.
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This book kept kemon the edge of my seat from the first chapter. Every single time I thought that I had things figured out, the author would throw a new twist in. I devoured the book and have recommended it several times since!
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Unfortunately, this suspense novel did not quite work for me.  Overall, the story/plot is intriguing, but the telling was what bogged me down.  This felt a little to drawn out for me, with pieces of information so microscopic that you missed the feeling of pulling the pieces together.  I think this was exacerbated by the altering narration from adult Robyn to child Robyn.  Put together, these elements just failed to hold my attention.  I also did not really connect with these characters...maybe because I didn't really get to know them because of all the secrets they were hiding from each other, and therefore, they did not seem to interact in any real and meaningful way..  Overall, not a waste of time, but I wished it fulfilled its potential to be better.
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I got through this book really quickly. The story was good, but the ending was kind of blah for me. I would recommend to someone who wants a quick read.
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This book was unfortunately very hard work and I almost threw in the towel a few times. I would like to say the pace picked up but it really didn't. Not for me.
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I enjoy books that have alternating timelines, and jumps back and forth from present to past. It can be sometimes confusing and difficult to follow along when a book does this so you really need to pay attention to what you are reading or you can often get lost in the story. However, I do love it when a book does this, as I find when I am reading the present timeline it leaves me intrigued and interested to read about what happened in the past to make what did in fact happen in the present. It adds to the suspense of the novel and leaves you eager to read more, and leaves you guessing about what could possibly have happened. I loved how this book did exactly that.

If you haven't read this novel be sure to check it out.
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A Little Bird Told Me was a bit of a slow burner for me. Confusing at times, but still a very well written story.
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A few jarring things in this book. There was a rather endearing preamble to the book by the publishers. It was quite original: in a nutshell patting themselves on their backs for finding such a gem of a debut book. That's fine. Then why couldn't you find yourselves better editors to do it justice? It's not asking much. Just someone who can use the right pronouns: 'Matthew can give Kit and I some coins.' Really? 'Can give I'??? Someone who can tell the difference between an adverb and an adjective. Someone who knows there is no such thing as 'was sat'. And someone who doesn't pluralise surnames with an apostrophe: the Mace's and the Cadogan's. Seriously? And the rest.

Secondly, present-tense narrative ruins the book. I'm not a fan of PTN, in fact, I hate it, and I try to overlook it, but in this case, no.

This started life as a short story. I'm not so sure it shouldn't have stayed that way. Padding it out into a full-length novel resulted in it being confusing and really stretching my staying power. Too many references to unidentified 'hims', 'hers', 'its' make it hard to keep up.

The story is in first-person POV, Robyn, with a dual timescale: 1976 (you will only remember that particular unique summer if you are over 40) and 1988.

The characters are bland, one-dimensional and not at all likeable…Robyn is even a bit irritating, her brother, Kit, only a little less so. There's little to identify where the story takes place: it could be anywhere in the world and there's too much telling and not enough showing.

I must admit, however, that I was compelled to get to the oh-is-that-it ending. Mind you, that may not be saying much as I'm not a DNF person. I will finish a book notwithstanding.
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Narrated by Robyn, this novel transports the reader between the long, hot summer of 1976 and twelve years later, when Robyn and her brother Kit return to their home town. Both are trying to come to terms with the events of that long ago summer.

This is a clever book, well-written and intriguing. The author builds a real sense of time and place, and it’s easy to picture those summer days, and then the dreary grey of a rainy autumn. Robyn is interesting and her relationship with Kit is warm and honest, one that anyone with an older brother will recognise.

There’s a very well-executed twist at the end too.

Robyn’s confusion and fear are sensitively but realistically portrayed, as are her feelings of powerlessness – feelings that lead to consequences neither she nor the reader expect.

But the first two thirds of the novel did feel very slow and it also felt at times as though the narrator was being deliberately obtuse in order to fool the reader, rather than for the purposes of the story itself. This did spoil things for me and I was quite frustrated at times, and a little confused.

The last third of the book makes up for that though, with that satisfying twist.

An interesting read, with lots to recommend it and I will read more from this author.
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Read Oct 19

This is a dual timeline novel with chapters set in the summer of 1976 when main character Robyn was 9 and September 1988 when she is 21. In 1976 a stranger shows up and gives Robyn a present, a small thing that sets off a chain of events that leads to her family leaving town. 1988 and Robyn has returned with brother Kit to try and find out the truth.

This was almost a DNF in parts for me. The setting was dull, the pacing was slow, and I barely cared for the characters. I mostly kept reading for the big reveal which I now can’t remember. I don’t know if it was that spectacular as far as reveals go. Overall the book was a bit of a let-down.
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A really interesting thriller that is totally character driven and which gives a marvellous sense of time and place.  I was back in 1976, a teenager in the heat wave.  The sort of book that I am happy to read quite slowly.
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I struggled with this novel and had to give up and so could not finish.  It was a difficult read but thanks to netgalley and the publisher.
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A first novel from this author which certainly had me enthralled and desperate to reach the answers the end should reveal.
Robyn and Kit's life full of family secrets needed to be unravelled to give Robyn much needed closure and although I predicted somenof the outcomes, the ending had enough left to reveal to make me reread it to ensure I hadn't missed anything. 
I am now awaiting Marianne Holmes' next book.
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I have been going back and forward to this book for a few months as I really struggled to get into the story. 
It jumps between years which can make it confusing. That being said, the story is original and intriguing. Overall, for me it’s a 3 star read.
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This dual timeline story of a sister and brother returning to their home town to confront the past didn't work for me. The format is getting really tired now and, unless it's done exceptionally well, I  just find it increasingly tedious. Normally one time strand hooks you with hints and clues while the other slowly reveals plot details in a satisfying manner. My problem with this novel was both strands were obfuscated and, while the characters and the author knew exactly what the heck was going on, I didn't and it prevented me forming any sympathy for the characters or interest in the story. Also I found the characters utterly unconvincing - I'm really not sure actual 19 and 24 year olds act and speak like that! Their actions seem unconnected to emotion and random while their motivations are never quite clear. I found finishing this one was an effort that left me unsatisfied.
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In my head this book was set in small-town America, I don't know why, it just seemed to suit it perfectly.  I imagined the characters with American accents and the descriptions of sultry and steamy summers made it even more so.  It wasn't until about two thirds of the way through that I even had the idea that it was probably set in the UK.  I mention this because thinking back over the story, the author's skill at weaving a narrative which essentially could have been located almost anywhere with universal characters against, sadly, an all-too-familiar backdrop of domestic violence, was totally involving.
Very easy to read and believe, especially the naivety of the protagonist.  Frustrating in just the right amount without resorting to betraying her characters in their actions or words, you are constantly kept wondering what happened.
The structure deserves special mention, as in hindsight it was perfectly plotted to reveal fragments of the past to keep you intrigued.
A very clever storyteller who I sincerely hope has more in her back pocket!
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A tale of family loyalty, mystery and betrayal that jumps between two time periods. I found this somewhat slow to get in to but would be a good beach read.
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A little bird and a lot of secrets. A wonderful take, that will keep you turning every page. A thoroughly exciting read.
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I loved this book, I read some reviews prior to reading it and a lot were referring to the fact that you don't actually get to know what's going on until half way through the book. but for me, this just enhanced the book. I liked the nostalgic feel to the book, going between 1976 and 1988. It is well worth a read.
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