‘She will change your life forever’
Lyrebird is the latest bestselling novel from Irish Writer Cecelia Ahern.
Published by Harper Collins in November 2016, I was very lucky to receive a complimentary copy in my goodie bag at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards in Dublin. Having never read a book by Cecelia Ahern, I decided to keep Lyrebird as the perfect book to snuggle up with on the sofa over Christmas.
I was quite intrigued by the byline, describing Lyrebird as ‘a story of the wild heart in us all and the quiet that lies underneath the world’s noise‘
Please continue reading for my thoughts….
In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret.
She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before : a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.
When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on it’s head,
Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her.
But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings – or will it trap her in a gilded cage?
Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free…
Lyrebird is a book you accept with pure mysticism and magic in your heart and mind. Based in the stunning part of my home county of Cork, Gougane Barra, a place where magic could truly happen.
Gougane Barra, is the setting of the most idyllic small church located on a lake, said to have been originally the home of Saint Finbarr, patron saint of Cork. It is here that Cecelia Ahern has used as the backdrop for Lyrebird.
Solomon is a sound engineer. While on location near Macroom, Co. Cork, with his girlfriend Bo, a documentary maker and Rachel, the camera operator, he ventures up a mountain path for a break. He hears a sound, a rustle of a branch and he sees a movement. Before his eyes he witnesses the most fragile human being, a girl…..
‘She smiles. The spell is cast.
She’s like a mythical creature….
It is the moment his life splits: who he was before he met her and who he becomes after.’
Laura is her name.
Her story and her very unusual talent captures the hearts of all three. Laura is very unique with an ability to mimic the sounds she hears around her in her environment. The sounds of nature, the beep of a horn, the whirring of a machine all mimicked with perfect accuracy.
As an award winning documentary maker, Bo is fascinated by Laura and encourages her to travel back to Dublin with them, where Bo can introduce her to a new world and new faces while filming her movements.
Bo & Solomon live in an apartment in Dublin and the decision is made that Laura would benefit from staying with them.
So begins a journey that none of them could have possibly imagined…
Lyrebird becomes Laura’s stage name as the media get hold of her and her life slips out of her control.
Caught up with reality television, we get a scary insight into the effects of social media on a person with such a fragile makeup. The new relationships Laura strives to make are delicately balanced against a backdrop of flashing cameras and newspaper headings. Laura is frightened and very unsure of what is the correct path to take and soon gets completely swept along on this roller-coaster ride.
Solomon watches on in horror as the reality of what is happening to Laura gradually sinks in. They led this beautiful person to this grand stage thinking that the public needed to witness the magic that Laura possessed and, as individuals involved in the world of TV, they had felt it their duty to share her.
Cecelia Ahern deals very well with this whole subject of the disposable nature of the reality TV star. When we all sit down to watch X-Factor, The Voice etc, do any of us really see what is happening behind the scenes? Do we really care? Cecelia Ahern raises these issues excellently in Lyrebird and exposes the potential damage that these programs can have on the fragility of the contestant’s minds.
Lyrebird, although very much a book of fantasy, has an underlying message for all it’s readers. The mind is a very delicate thing and how we all interact and react with our fellow human beings in today’s society is so important. It is okay to be different and it is our duty to accept these differences and perhaps spend a little more time opening our eyes and looking around at the world we live in.
Gougane Barra is a good place to start!!
Purchase Link : Lyrebird