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Book Review : Vita and the Birds by Polly Crosby

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about Vita and the Birds by Polly Crosby.

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1938: Lady Vita Goldsborough lives in the menacing shadow of her controlling older brother, Aubrey. But when she meets local artist Dodie Blakeney, the two women form a close bond, and Vita finally glimpses a chance to be free.

1997: Following the death of her mother, Eve Blakeney returns to the coast where she spent childhood summers with her beloved grandmother, Dodie. Eve hopes that the visit will help make sense of her grief. The last thing she expects to find is a bundle of letters that hint at the heart-breaking story of Dodie’s relationship with a woman named Vita, and a shattering secret that echoes through the decades.

What she discovers will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family – and change her life forever.

Vita and the Birds Review

I was captivated by Vita and the Birds.  This mysterious dual timeline is beautifully written.

Eve returns to the coast which holds special memories of her mother when they stayed with her grandmother Dodie in the summer holidays.

Whilst sorting her grandmother’s art studio Eve discovers Dodie shared a past with Lady Vita. She then struggles to concentrate until she finds out their tragic past.

I loved the atmospheric description of the empty cathedral where Eve ventured as a child and felt scared of her visit and as an adult, realises the importance of the place.

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I felt drawn to Lady Vita as her character is beautiful and rich.  She was trapped like her precious birds, in her own cage.

I was intrigued to find out what happened to Vita throughout this story. She was a vivid, compelling and captivating character.

A wonderful story.

About the Author

Polly Crosby grew up on the Suffolk coast, and now lives with her husband and son in the heart of Norfolk. In 2018, Polly won Curtis Brown Creative’s Yesterday Scholarship, which enabled her to finish her debut novel, The Illustrated Child. Later the same year, it was awarded runner-up in the Bridport Prize’s Peggy Chapman Andrews Award for a First Novel. Polly received the Annabel Abbs Creative Writing Scholarship at the University of East Anglia. Her new novel, Vita and the Birds, is out in May 2023.

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