Laura, Kat and Flora are half-sisters who share a famous artist father – and a terrible secret.
Over the years they’ve grown into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father’s most celebrated painting, Girls and Birdcage, reunites them.
Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electronically charged with the events of the summer – twenty years before – that the family daren’t discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting – and what they did.
Thank you so much to Kallie at Michael Joseph for reaching out and inviting me to be involved in this blog tour celebrating publication of The Birdcage, and of course for the beautiful, finished, hardback copy of the book. Today is my day on the aforementioned tour for The Birdcage and I am delighted to be sharing my review with you.
This book is a strong family drama, domestic noir, if you like. Kat and Flora are half sisters, tight in their relationship, united in their dislike of their younger half sibling Lauren. All three girls are close in age, a reflection of their artist father’s fluid loves.
We meet this ruptured family at a reunion at their father’s Cornish home; Rock Point. It’s been years since the girls were here, twenty years ago, when a tragedy occurred that damaged Lauren and scarred the family.
The story is told in a then and now format, the present day reunion and twenty years previous, the summer of 1999 and the infamous eclipse, seen best from Cornwall where crowds gathered in anticipation. Kat and Flora are close, in age – just four months separating them, compared to the year that Lauren is younger, their poorer sister, always on the outside. Much is alluded to between these half siblings and I found myself struggling to warm to Kat and Flora, cruel to Lauren in childhood and unremorseful as adults.
Lauren was our protagonist, much of the story was told from her perspective, grieving her much loved and recently deceased mother, but without her half siblings money and opportunities she seemed more vulnerable. That said, all 3 women had their struggles. A character driven novel, with a two decades old mystery at it’s heart, one that needs revealing now.
A decent read, the descriptive location scenes were impressive, many times I was transported back to the summer of the eclipse, visualising the Cornish setting and wishing I was there, then and now. I worked out much of the mystery but not too early and I enjoyed the way this was all revealed. A sense of menace was evident throughout, the family’s return unwelcome to some and allusions to misadventure.
A great summer read, character driven, escapist but authentic. Will you be picking up The Birdcage, which is available to buy now.
About the Author
Eve Chase writes rich, page- turning mysteries set in beautiful places, thick with secrets. The Glass House was a Sunday Times bestseller, Richard and Judy Book Club pick and word-of-mouth lockdown hit. Longlisted for the HWA Gold Crown award 2018, The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde went on to become an Amazon bestseller. In 2019, Black Rabbit Hall won the Saint-Maur en Poche prize in Paris for Best Foreign Fiction and also went on to be an Amazon bestseller. Before writing novels, Eve worked as a journalist in magazines and newspapers. Married with three children, she lives in Oxford, alongside a very hairy golden retriever called Harry.