A Thousand Paper Birds - Tor Udall

February 19, 2018

3/5 Stars


Beautifully written with well realised characters.


The story centres around a sudden death, which brings five main characters together to undertake a journey of discovery, with each having their own story to tell.



The backdrop of the novel is Kew Gardens (which the author magically brings to life) and it is clear that the author has a special relationship with Kew. Here the author excels, and Kew becomes almost like an additional character.


The book is poetic and heartfelt, the characters well written, expertly realised and brought to life. The relationships between the characters is also well handled. However, despite the above and the presence of magical realism the novel is extremely plot-light but probably appropriate in regard to how the book unfolds.


It relies on beautiful prose to keep you gripped, but unfortunately that was not enough to keep me engaged fully. The light plot along with the slow pacing of the book led to me often drift off. I would give the book a higher rating; however, the background and setting isn't my favourite - but I can see why the book has attracted better reviews and would recommend the book to others.


It’s a beautifully written novel that deals sympathetically with loss and love. And as for the descriptions of Kew? A joy.

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