Cover Image: Why Birds Sing

Why Birds Sing

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Member Reviews

Why Birds Sing was a very surprising book. I had never heard of it from before and I was drawn by the cover and description.

This book is written in first-person-POV from the perspective of our main character, Dawn, who is an opera singer and also married to a man of Indian ethnicity. The character of Dawn is not something you come across often. The fact that she is an underdog in the music industry and also wrapped up in a culture she is not familiar with was truly well-written.

Dawn finds herself struggling with her mother-in-law, Mina, who has so many different expectations for her and her son. And I found Dawn's character responses to be very realistic. She was never disrespectful, but deep inside, she was struggling with it all.

To top all of this off, Dawn has to accept that her husband's brother, Tariq, will be staying with them because he is fighting an illness. Tariq is quite a character. He is an affectionate, romantic soul and pets a parrot, Tulip. I think this was my favorite part of the story. Seeing Dawn get attached to Tariq, Tulip (the parrot) was such a beautiful addition to what family, companionship, destiny, situations, and other things mean.

The novel beautifully interweaves different aspects of Dawn's life: her life and responsibilities in the music world, her caretaking skills with Tariq, her respect towards her mother-in-law, and eventually the feelings of loss due to different things she cannot control.

This book was unlike anything I've ever read. It was realistic, heartwarming, and very different. The sense of urgency during the whole book was masterfully depicted.

I definitely think everyone should read this. There's something for everyone.

"There would be no finale or requiem. We were here to find our music."
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I honestly did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It was so quirky and fun and I found myself wanting to be a friend for Dawn throughout the story.

I have no idea if whistling classes are a real thing, but if they are I want to take one. Especially if the group calls themselves the Warblers.

Thank you NetGalley and ECW Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Why Birds Sing is an emotional novel with a cast of interesting characters that will move you more than you thought possible. I enjoyed learning more about a form of music that I’m not familiar with (both opera and whistling), as well as the world of bird and their idiosyncratic ways. Overall, the pacing was a little slow for me and I had a harder time connecting with the characters. The writing was fantastic, though, and I was moved in places throughout the work. Thank you to netgalley for the eARC!
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Trigger warning: cancer, death, illness.

I didn't expect to love this book, but I went in with enthusiasm and an open mind, and boy I'm so glad I did. This book is charming, with characters you genuinely root for and grow to love. It was a joy to read about their growing relationships, and the development that occurs over the months our main character spends teaching them. 

I loved the music aspect of this book. I'll admit, I hadn't heard of professional whistling before reading, but having googled and watched clips of it, I can see why the Warblers were so enthralled! With the addition of the opera elements, it is a dream to read for anyone who enjoys the performing arts or who partakes in the performing arts.

Berkhout has a writing style that is a joy to read. The descriptions are lovely, but not too complex as to make it difficult to follow along. The book was fast paced, and I found myself flying through the first 100 pages without realising how quickly the time went. Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this charming novel, and would happily pick up another book by this author.
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✨Book Review✨
Nina Berkhout's inspiring novel, Why Birds Sing, is a remarkable story about learning to appreciate the little things in life.
💜
Dawn is a disgraced opera singer, wallowing in her misfortunes and current inability to sing. When she discovers that her brother-in-law, whom she barely knows, and his moody African Grey Parrot, will be moving into their home due to illness, she hates that her routine is about to be disturbed. To make matters worse, she's being asked to teach a class on whistling, an activity that she deems to be a complete waste of time. However, Dawn has a lot to learn about music, and people, if she is ever going to find true happiness.
💚
I would like to start by saying that I absolutely loved this story. I love birds and the songs they sing, so the many links and parralels made between birds and people warmed my heart. Throughout the entire novel, I could imagine the most beautiful bird sounds in the background, especially during the many descriptive scenes involving birds.
💙
At one point in the novel, the characters find themselves in Quebec, along the St. Lawrence River. These chapters are so beautifully written. I greatly enjoyed the descriptions of scenery and wildlife. Clearly, Berkhout has a soft spot in her heart for Tadoussac.
💛
I really can't think of a single thing that I didn't love about this novel. It is one of my favourite reads of 2020. Thank you @net and @ecwpress for this Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Dawn doesn’t need complications in her life.  She’s busy brooding day after day over her flamed-out opera singing career, spending hours each day streaming her last, humiliating performance.  It wasn’t what she expected for herself, but she’s on hiatus now while her voice heals, and at least now she and her husband of five years, Ash, have time to start the family they’ve always wanted.  So the last thing she needs is her brother-in-law, Tariq, whom she barely knows, moving in with them.  Nor does she want to tutor a bunch of quirky, amateur whistlers in need of a coach.  

Tariq, who didn’t even attend their wedding, nor did he stay long at Ash and Tariq’s father’s funeral, shows up the very next day, with African Grey Parrot, Tulip, in tow.  And Dawn, who storms down to her agent’s office after meeting with the whistling group, finds out that her contract with the opera company requires her to work or she doesn’t get paid.  So, Dawn trudges back to meet with the amateur siffleurs (whistlers), angry and short-tempered in her dealings with them.  And, she gets roped into taking Tariq to his chemotherapy appointments, as her husband can’t cancel his twice daily stops at his aging mother’s house, both breakfast and dinner, for a visit. 
hat Tariq wished, without ever actually voicing his preference.

The novel is one of pain and loss, struggle and redemption, and finding that new path in life, as the one we thought we were on doesn’t always lead us where we thought.

#NinaBerkhout
#WhyBirdsSing
#NetGalley
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I did not think I would like this book as much as I did! It has a bitter sweet ending but full of hope. During these times it makes you think of the human connection.
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Her husband wants his brother Tariq to live with them. He rarely interacts with Ashraf.Tariq has cancer .Tariq is married to pretty blonde  . Dawn is not singing anymore
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Dawn is an opera singer who had a terrible failure on stage and is currently unable to sing. She gets a job coaching a group of whistlers, the Wharblers. While trying to get her musical career back on track she also helps take care of her brother-in-law, Tariq, who has cancer and his companion Tulip, a parrot. Tariq, Tulip and the Wharblers become an essential part to Dawn’s story and she forms interesting and unexpected friendships with these characters.

I initially had a hard time connecting with the characters and the story started off slow for me. Throughout the book the characters started to grown on me and I really enjoyed this story. My favorite character in this book was definitely Tariq’s parrot, Tulip. She was just such an interesting, challenging and funny character and I loved that this bird played such a crucial role in the story.

This book also offers many interesting facts about birds, the world of music and many other topics. Even though, I had a slow start with it, I really enjoyed it in the end and would definitely recommend reading this book.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Featuring a cast of unusual characters, including Tulip, a parrot, Why Birds Sing is a charming and unexpectedly touching story. Berkhout skillfully weaves in dashes of both humor and wisdom as she delves into the nitty-gritty of life - love, friendship, and purpose. It was a lovely read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommend.  Thanks to Netgalley and ECW Press for the ARC.
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This book is inspiring and I absolutely loved it!

Dawn Woodward, is an opera singer who had a disastrous failure on stage. Dawn gets a job leading a group of whistlers, the Wharblers. As she tries to get her career on track, her husband, Ash,  asks Dawn to take care of her brother-in-law, Tariq, who has cancer. Tariq's parrot, Tulip becomes a profound part of this story as Dawn forms unexpected friendships with her new companions. 

My Thoughts: I loved how Dawn persevered through her troubling marriage and how all the character in this story lift her up. This book has so many interesting facts about music, birds, whales, and many other subjects.  I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone! 

Thank you to NetGalley and ECW for the opportunity to read this book.
I will be posting my review on my social media handles on Pub Day!
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Oh, how I loved this book. I already have a list of ten people I want to send it to, it literally has something for everyone. Opera, birding, whistling, a parrot, a love triange and a culminating competition. Flew through this and will be thinking about it for a while.
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Berkhout's "Why birds sing" looks and sounds like it's going to be gorgeous but, overall, it's just unsatisfactory.
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Thank you NetGalley and ECW for the eARC.
What a wonderful book this is, I absolutely loved it!
Dawn Woodward is an opera singer who had a disastrous failure on stage and has been miserably
staying home, until she gets the job of leading a group of whistlers, the Wharblers.  She can't whistle herself, but practices secretly at home, as well as trying to get her singing voice back.  Her husband, Ash, asks her to look after her estranged brother-in-law, Tariq, who has cancer. Tariq turns up with his parrot, Tulip.  They now have to try and keep Mina, her grumbling mother-in-law, away, as she would be heartbroken to know Tariq may be dying.
Tulip, in my humble opinion, is one of the best and most lovable characters in literature.  I can't remember another character I enjoyed as much as Tulip in my long reading history.
The Wharblers are a diverse and eccentric group.  When Dawn's marriage crumbles, Tariq, Tulip, the Wharblers and even Mina, offer her a way into a new future, 
The story is uplifting and has so many interesting facts about birds, the musical world, whales, parrots and many other topics, it blew my mind.  Terrific!
Do yourselves a favour and read this book!
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