Beautiful, Mesmerising Lyrebird Takes You To A Whole New World!

A few weeks back, I was in the library with my little one and while he chose his picks for the day, I was browsing the new arrivals. That’s when Cecilia Ahern’s Lyrebird caught my eye. It was the cover that hooked me at first glance – simple, charming – as if you are looking through leaves in a wood to some secret hiding place where you are sure you will find something beautiful! As I turned the book in my hand, the synopsis at the back intrigued me; and I knew I just had to borrow it! And I did.

So, did I like the story? Did the Lyrebird impress me? Here's my take –     

At first glance:
Beautiful, mesmerising, lovely Lyrebird took me to a completely different world right from the word go! This genuine, earthy story was so raw, so true, it touched my heart! It not only took me to a country much less written about, but also to a special bird with such unique abilities that I had to Google the Lyrebird to satisfy myself that this beauty actually exists! I wasn't even aware that such a bird exists, let alone its amazing qualities. And so it was that I fell in love with the Lyrebird.
But although I was sold on the subject matter, I wasn’t so sure about the story; I am not a regular Ahern fan and didn’t know what to expect. But as I started reading, the simple language, the pace of the story and the idyllic setting worked wonders for me. From the busy airplane ride to the secluded woods to a glimpse in the exceptional life of some of the central characters held my interest and before I knew it, I was already four chapters down!

The story:
The Lyrebird is the story of a young girl with unique abilities who is discovered in the woods by a documentary crew. She has lived most of her life in seclusion, hidden from the world, much like the real life Lyrebird itself who keeps himself well hidden from prying eyes at all times. The story progresses at an easy pace when the girl’s life suddenly changes and she is forced into making the most important decision of her life! Subsequently, she allows herself to come under the limelight as part of a talent show and when the world sees what she has to offer, she becomes an overnight sensation! But the Lyrebird is not merely this girl’s story; it is also a beautiful love story that is as elusive as the eponymous bird. With so much happening and so much changing, one can almost be forgiven for not seeing the love story that underlies the events that occur in such quick succession! But eventually, it is a revelation worth waiting for!

My opinion:
Its idyllic setting and very real, real-world depiction makes Lyrebird a fast paced page-turner for all the right reasons. There's a reference in the book where a character says when talking about the eponymous character that she holds a mirror to everyone, she touches everyone and that she leaves a lasting impression on every single person who gets to know what she has to offer. Well, I for one, can vouch for that. This is one story that is deeply moving and extremely engaging. It makes us look inward. It makes us think about who we are as a society and what has happened to “humanity” in today’s tech-savvy, glamour-chasing world.

In a world full of make believe stories, here's a book that wins because if its simplicity. While showing us the most genuine, natural human emotions the book also brings to light the harsh reality of today's starry-eyed glamour-crazy world. The story of how talent goes from unknown to fabulously known worldwide to being judged for one simple mistake is an eye opener for us all. In a world full of hatred and opportunistic behaviour, Lyrebird is a much needed breath of fresh air!

And now for the technical points:
All the characters are well drawn out and one can identify with each of them and what drives them. From characters that make the smallest to the biggest impact on the story, every character is true and genuine. One can relate to their quirks and appreciate their motivations.

I felt that the editing could've been a little better as there was a lot of repetition at a certain point in the story. Right in the middle when the protagonist faces adversity, it felt like there were same sentiments and thoughts and words repeated over and over again. Also, a few scenes – spoiler alert – like Rory suddenly coming to Dublin to meet Laura seemed staged, just to facilitate the happening of the events that immediately follow. I felt that there should've been a bit more background to that scene. However, I sincerely found Lyrebird to be a beautiful story that took me to a whole new and different world!

My Verdict:
I would gladly give this mesmerising tale a happy 4 out of 5 stars.
For anyone looking for a light, romantic read with a genuine story, I would surely recommend taking this journey with the Lyrebird, I assure you, it will be a worthwhile journey!


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