ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Goodbye Birdie Greenwing by Ericka Waller

Goodbye Birdie Greenwing by Ericka Waller was published by Doubleday on 18th April in hardcover and eBook. My thanks to the publishers for the proof copy.

Great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget …

Birdie Greenwing has been at a loose end ever since her beloved twin sister and husband passed away. Too proud and stubborn to admit she is lonely, Birdie’s world has shrunk. But then some new neighbours move in to the house next door.

Jane has come to Brighton for a fresh start, away from her ferociously protective mother Min. While Jane finds it hard to stand up for herself, her daughter Frankie has no problem telling people what she does and doesn’t want. Ada Kowalski has come to England to follow her dreams, but her new life is harder than she expected.

When a series of incidents brings their lives crashing together, the three find that there is always more to a person than meets the eye …

Goodbye Birdie Greenwing celebrates relationships in all their quirky, complicated uniqueness. It is a story about the choices we make and how we justify them. About finding out who we are, not who other people think we should be.

Goodbye Birdie Greenwing tells the story of three women. The eponymous Birdie lives alone, mourning her lost husband and sister. Jane and her daughter, Frankie, move in next door to Birdie. Jane is a nurse, wishing for the freedom a new start might bring to her. Then there’s Ada, a doctor at the local hospital. The three separate storylines, told in alternating chapters from each viewpoint, are about to collide into each other.

The first thing to say about this book is that it is completely and utterly marvellous in every way. It doesn’t take much to move me to tears but this book did it quite consistently over the course of the 350 pages or so. It portrays beautifully themes of loss, friendship, homesickness, guilt, poor health, new starts and so much more. However, don’t think this is a tale of doom and gloom. Yes, it’s sad at times and yes, sometimes the realities of life make certain sections a bit harder to read, but there is so much dry humour too and I laughed out loud a lot. The story is populated with the most wonderful characters and at this stage I must mention Min, Jane’s mum, with her BLEDDY SHOUTY voice and her constant cleaning. What a creation!

I was thoroughly drawn into Brighton life, into Birdie’s quiet days, Jane finding her feet in a new place and a new job, and Ada’s desire to cure and nurture after leaving her native Poland. This is an ode to women, to female friendship, to their strength. Every page of this gorgeous book is a joy to read. It’s tender, relatable, a little bit quirky, and exquisitely observed by Ericka Waller. I loved everything about it.

Ericka Waller lives in Brighton with her husband, three daughters, dogs and a hairless cat. Previously, she worked as a blogger and columnist. Her first novel, Dog Days, was widely praised by authors and reviewers alike. Goodbye Birdie Greenwing is her second novel.

Twitter: @erickawaller1

Instagram: @erickawaller1


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