Author: Carol Lovekin
Source: Kindle Store
My favourite quote; “A girl with birds in her eyes ought to be able to see to the other side of the sky.”
A lovely emotional story about a young girl who tries to unravel the truth about her lost father and sister. A heartwarming tale that shares the importance of forgiveness, will make you believe in the afterlife and will make you cherish the precious moments you have with your loved ones.
Cadi is a young girl who grew up without her father and sister in a cottage called Ty Aderyn: the house of birds. They both passed away before she was born but it seems only her mother and aunt know the real truth and refuse to give her any information about what they were like and how they died. The only thing Cadi knows, is that it has some connection to the forbidden lake at the back of the cottage.
Her troubled mother, Violet, can’t let go of the past and continues to hide behind her grief by trying to remove the memories of Teilo and Dora from their lives. Lili, Cadi’s aunt, has been dragged into the secrets Violet has kept from her daughter which makes life at Ty Aderyn all the more difficult.
When Cadi escapes to the lake, a childs bracelet appears in the water and suddenly she finds herself haunted by her 4 year old sister. Determined more than ever, to find out what happened, she starts her journey to discover the truth behind the deaths that ripped her family apart.
Carol Lovekin allows you chance to fall in love with each character along the way. Cadi is passionately intelligent for a 14 year old and you can forgive her childness for the need to know who she is and answers to the story kept from her. She doesn’t have a lot of friends to share her frustration and communicating with her mother seems almost impossible, so her aunt becomes her confidant. You can’t help but fight Cadi’s corner every step of the way to reveal the secrets kept from her.
Violet is a very troubled character who you can’t help but feel sorry for at times, but then want to throttle her a few pages along. She’s not had the best life, from being abandoned by her father and then mother, to marrying a man who wasn’t right for her, to losing a child and her husband within a space of a few months, to then finding out she is pregnant with a child she already resents. You can understand why Cadi prefers the company of her aunt when Violet actively dismisses Cadi’s feelings. You can also understand why Violet chooses to lock away her memories in a box under her bed.
Lili is my personal favourite character by simply being Lili. She is generous, calm, intelligent, friendly and takes life with a pinch of salt. The only mistake she has made is by making a promise to Violet which has proven to be more dangerous than what it is worth. She sympathises with Cadi and tries to keep the balance between her and her mother. With her upbeat attitude towards life, you can’t help but feel compassion to the situation she has been placed in.
The story includes brief perspectives of Dora as a young ghost, who spends the time trying to get the attention of her sister in a realm in which she alone exists amongst the birds. You don’t get to know Dora well whilst she is alive, but as a ghost you get to experience her loss and her desperation to be seen throughout the story which give a mournful atmosphere to the book. She has been cursed to become a bird, specifically an owl, which in turn, becomes her freedom.
My favourite quote just may happen to be the first line in the book, but I couldn’t remember a sentence that stood out so much and it felt so meaningful before I had even begun. When I finished the book, I went back to re-read the sentence again. For me, it summed up the book nicely. All in all, a magical story that I’m glad fell into my lap.
Someone needs to be forgiven. Someone needs to forgive.
Nothing hurts like not knowing who you are.
Nobody will tell Cadi anything about her father and her sister. Her mother Violet believes she can only cope with the past by never talking about it. Lili, Cadi’s aunt, is stuck in the middle, bound by a promise she shouldn’t have made. But this summer, Cadi is determined to find out the truth.
In a world of hauntings and magic, in a village where it rains throughout August, as Cadi starts on her search, the secrets and the ghosts begin to wake up. None of the Hopkins women will be able to escape them.