Billy and his parents Liam and Iris are living through trying times. Everyone copes differently: Iris becomes an anxious micromanager, Liam focuses on everything but the family, and Billy, well Billy becomes a bird. But it is avian overload that is the catalyst that forces the issue and heads the family down the path to a better place.
Poignant yet playful, tragic and insightful, this is a New Zealand story characterised by lyrical language, its realistic portrayal of contemporary parenthood and its sensitive exploration of the complexities of grief. [Larger font]
A most delightful and beautifully written book. Loved it.
Loved the NZ setting. Enjoyed the raw family dynamics.
Well-written, with interesting insights into a N.Z family, and its problems with tragedy, using humour etc in recovery.
We had no meeting about this book but the feedback was very positive.
We thoroughly enjoyed this book: her excellent characterisations, her sensitive handling of the topics of anxiety and parenthood, and her laugh-out-loud jokes in the written/spoken language. A great read!
Our group all enjoyed 'Billy Bird', while several really loved it. We all felt that Emma Neale created a believable family and her portrayal of Billy was superb. There were many facets of the story which provoked in depth discussion e.g. marital infidelity, the value of counselling for children and/or couples, but mostly the way death and the resulting grief is handled. The writing was fresh, imaginative and funny!
This book elicited a mixed response. There were those who admired the clever writing, and others who thought the psychological currents were fanciful and not credible.
Interesting discussion as some members found it difficult to get into, especially with referencing to poetry. Most enjoyed the complexity of the family dynamics and dealing with anxieties via counselling. Made us realise how we should keep our communication going, especially men!
Our group all had differing opinions regarding this book. Two people loved it, while two didn't bother to finish. The rest thought that while a well-written book, it was also not one of their best reads.
One person "thoroughly enjoyed" the book, and another had appreciated the radio presentation. Some did not finish the book. One member with counselling experience, commented interestingly on the process the family experienced.