A Little Bird Told Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

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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New author for me but pleasantly surprised. Thank you for the approval and look forward to a book relationship with other reads in the future,
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I enjoyed this book.  The relationship between the siblings was really well written and the story of a dysfunctional family unfolded over years.  Great book.
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This was a book I grabbed off of Netgalley and well didn't get to til now. I was very excited for this book and it got lost in my pile. I loved the cover and the summary just called out to me. I am glad I was finally able to dig into this read and I really loved it. It was a great story, great mystery, and just all around good. 


This is a story about a young woman and they way she comes to terms with some mistakes of her past. Robyn grew up without her father. She never met him and didn't know who he was. She lived with her mother and her brother, and her mothers boyfriend that was like a father. Life was good until the day her mother tried to help a woman out of a bad life. It all changed when a man approaches Robyn at the pool stating he knows her mother. Everything changed that summer. And now that Robyn is an adult she goes back to the house to face the truth about that summer. 


I really really enjoyed this book. It's told in dual time lines... from Robyn's childhood and from the present with Robyn now about 21 years old.  I do love this narrative. but... that isn't why I loved this book so much. This book was raw and bold and painful. It was dark and gritty and I just felt it down to my core. 

There is a ton of mystery flowing through this book. I am sure that helped add to my love of the book. There is the mystery of Robyn's past that has multiple mysteries hiding in the memories. Each comes out slowly and is answered by the end of the book. There are many things that are going on at once in her past and the way they are all tied together to make just one hell of a summer was so well done. Everything that happened that summer led to one bang of an end. 

The mysteries are what kept me reading but what really got me was the character development. Robyn is a young woman with a hurting girl stuck inside of her. She is held down by so much guilt and shame and loss that she has a hard time facing life. She is determined to face her past so she can finally move on.... but there are other reasons to be back to her childhood home.. Not only does she need to face the past but she also needs to find the proof to what really happened that summer. So she goes on a quest with the help of her brother and his childhood friend. 

The ending was quite a bang for me and I loved how it all came together. Some things I had figured out and some things were quite a shock to me. It was good and if you like dark and gritty and painful and if you like a good mystery...this is a great read. 

 
Loved it and I can't wait to read more from this author!
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A little bird told me is worth a read, I felt like the story didn't flow very well given how often it flicked between years and although I liked the characters the beginning didn't hook me in like some do. I struggled to keep going back to it to finish reading.
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A young woman and her brother return to their abandoned home and an unsolved family mystery in this slow burn of a debut novel.

Told from the perspective of Robyn, the Little Bird of the title, and switching between the 1976 heatwave and the siblings' return twelve years later in 1988, A Little Bird Told Me takes its own sweet time in unravelling the mystery at the heart of this story.

This is in part due to the fact that Robyn is our narrator and, while she may return as a twenty-one year old, she was only nine when the events of 1976 took place. Robyn has repressed memories as well as a skewed vision of what happened due to her age and the fact that others protected her from what was going on at the time. In retrospect, this was probably misguided on their part even if it was done for all the best reasons, but it all feeds into how unreliable she is as a narrator and how slow she is to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

That said, I would have liked to have had a few more breadcrumbs scattered throughout the book to help me keep faith that there would be some better resolution than the path of vengeance Robyn seems set upon when the book opens. 

The pace of the narrative is languid at times but this sits well with the lethargy felt throughout that summer of 1976. It also serves to illustrate how small-town life doesn't always make it easy for you to move on from past events but instead stagnates around them. Robyn finds it difficult to start over here, in contrast to her older brother, Kit, who is admittedly more interested in putting the past behind him and getting on with his life.

Where I enjoyed A Little Bird Told Me the most was in its descriptive passages as I traced grown-up Robyn's walks around town, the part Eva and Neil played in the siblings' story, together with the relationship between her and Kit in the 1988 sections. And in 1976 it was in the details of a small town in a heatwave, that childhood summer spent around the Lido, Robyn's friendship with Debbie, and the part those ubiquitous bullies, the WendyCarols, played in Little Bird's story. This debut's well worth a read.
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It took me a while to get into this book but when I did I just couldn't put it down. When a man turns up out of the blue and tells Robyn that he is her dad she wants to get to know him more. Her mum has other ideas and Robyn can't see the harm in seeing him so keeps quiet about it. Her dad Ray turns out to be someone who likes to beat women up and even killed his first wife and is now back for her and Kit her brother.
One night it escalates and they find out there mum was their Aunt who had run off with them to keep them safe from Ray. Ray is sent  to prison and is after something that Robyn has and she knows when he is released he will come after her. Does she need to run or should she stay and face him only time will tell.
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I received a netgalley of A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes, in exchange for an honest review. The book flips between two decades and tells the story of the childhood of Robyn and Kit and secrets that they carry with them to adulthood. When they return to the town they left 12 years ago, they must face down what has happened in the past and learn to move on. The book kept my interest but did feel it dragged in some spots.
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Excellent debut novel by Marianne Holmes.
I found the story engaging right from the start.
Well written with a few twists and turns along the way.
I would recommend this book
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As Robyn lives through the heat of the 1976 summer, she thinks it's a normal, fun summer of a teenager. But her mother keeps bringing home strange women, a man follows her around and no one will tell Robyn the truth about anything. Twelve years later, Robyn returns to her childhood town, to an empty house, a town that hasn't moved on, and a mystery that hasn't been solved. 

This book was suspenseful and a quick read. It kept my attention, and I enjoyed learning about Robyn and her life. I'll be honest it wasn't my most favorite book, but still an enjoyable none the less.
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I don't read many thrillers but this was more family drama with suspense which I did enjoy. A dual timeline/story can take a few chapters to get to grips with but once you have both stories in your mind then its easy to follow the change overs.
A good holiday read
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Captivating. Can't wait to see more from this author. Many thanks for giving me a sneak peek at the first book in what I'm sure will be a long career!
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An interesting look at the different prospecives of a situation.  The effects an event have on a family, and the members within varies and this book does a good job of exploring that
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