Fiction Book Reviews

Literary Fiction | The Seagull’s Laughter | Holly Bidgood

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We’re delighted to be sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on tour today for The Seagull’s Laughter by Holly Bidgood.


Book cover for The Seagull's Laughter by Holly Bidgood

The Seagull’s Laughter by Holly Bidgood is published by Wild Pressed Books and is available

Born in 1973 to a Greenlandic mother and an English-Explorer father, Malik has always been something of a misfit. He has one black eye and one blue. As a child his mother’s people refused to touch him and now his own baby daughter’s family feel the same way.

On his own now, Malik’s only companion is a guiding spirit no-one else can see, but one day a white man with a nose like a beak and a shadow like a seagull appears on his doorstep and invites him to England.

Martha has had enough of living with domestic abuse. She compares bruises with her friend Neil, who regularly suffers homophobic attacks. With Martha’s baby, they go on the run to Shetland, where Martha has happy childhood memories of summers spent with her aunt.
On their way up north in a camper van, they come across a dejected Malik, alone again after a brief reconciliation with his father’s family.

They arrive safely together in the Shetland Isles, but Malik still needs answers to the identity of the beak-nosed man who casts a shadow over his life, and must now embark on a further journey of his own.

The Seagull’s Laughter is an immersive read, intertwined with nature and the magic of Greenlandic folk tales.


Review

The Seagull’s Laughter is a beautifully written story depicting the stark and wondrous landscape of the artic regions in contrast to the smothering cities of urban England.

For Malik, torn between the life lead by his ancestors and the more ‘civilised’ livelihood of the white man, his journey of self discovery is one of danger, heartache and courage.

With the guidance from an ancestral spirit, Malik seeks to find the peace that he has never been granted due to his ‘curse’ of being born of two cultures. 

His desire to find his true self and a sense of belonging is reflected in the difficulty in settling in one home place and also that of not feeling part of a family.

Holly Bidgood transports the reader from the claustrophobic streets and houses of then city to the wilds of the artic with such clarity that one feels overwhelmed with the enormity of it.

A highly recommended read! 

Alice-Jane guest reviewer on Jera's Jamboree

Holly Bidgood moved to Hull after graduating from UCL with a degree in Scandinavian languages. She has been writing since a very young age and as well as her novel, she regularly writes folk and fairytale-like short stories

Holly considers landscape, wilderness and interaction with the elements to be the driving force behind her writing, a passion which has taken her to Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Twitter @HollyBidgood

Author photo Holly Bidgood

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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