All the Birds, Singing

Evie Wyld / Vintage

All the Birds, Singing book Evie Wyld’s writing resonates with the sound of her name; often preoccupied with the latent, confronting wildness of nature and humanity, even as it is tightly, exactingly constructed. Her style is reminiscent of sinew and bone as life is stripped away of extraneous matter and protagonists are left with intense reckonings. In this sure-footed second novel, sheep farmer Jake lives on a remote, unforgiving island, bristling at any social interaction. When her sheep begin to die in terrible ways, the threat of an unidentifiable monster rears. Wyld’s tale is insistently unsettling; a febrile telling of what has driven Jake to take up this reclusive life, with past and present in continual motion. The uncanny is employed in unexpected and multifarious ways, ‘The way the land seemed to be watching me, feeling my foreignness in it, holding its breath until I passed by.’ This deft telling of birth, death and the violence that might occur in between is relieved from its starkness by its engagement of humour and deep, entangled empathy for all beings in the natural world.

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