Sunday, 29 October 2017
The Blackbird Singularity by Matt Wilven
I was immediately drawn into this novel by the relationship that Vince has with a blackbird that visits his garden and how he tempts the bird to finally brave coming into the house. It reminded me of my mother and her favourite blackbird that she used to feed.
However, things for Vince are a lot more complicated than just feeding the local birds like a caring birdwatcher. Vince has just stopped taking his lithium, he's haunted by the ghost of their first child and Lyd, his physicist partner is pregnant again.
This is a brilliant book, totally engrossing, a roller coaster ride of emotions that never veers out of the author's control (though it is clear that Vince is losing control of his life....). I particularly love the descriptions of Vince's relationship with the blackbirds:
"I slide the patio door shut and pull a chair away from the kitchen table, wrap my hands around a cup of coffee and watch the white lawn. Within seconds a blackbird arrives and then another. Soon there are nearly a dozen of them fluttering about, raising tiny clouds of hoar frost and trying to win a few moments on top of one of the sultana clumps. I'm not sure how long I sit watching them, but for the first time in a long time, I experience thecreative glimmer of a new idea.
After a couple of minutes the idea is outshining my interest in the birds so I venture upstairs to my writing desk."
Mental health, grief, paranoia, dysfunctional families and barely functional friendships plus nature make for a wonderful mix in Wilven's debut novel. Can't wait to see what he writes next!
The Blackbird Singularity by Matt Wilven published by Legend Press (2016)