The Messenger Bird by Rosanne Hawke

When you first realise the unfairness and randomness of death it eats into your thoughts like acid.

Tamar is alone in the world. Her older brother is dead, her mum is in the nut house, refusing to see her, and her father is distant and so consumed with restoring their old farm house that he avoids talking about the things that really matter.

She’s lost contact with her friends, and she lives in the middle of nowhere. Not even the eager new neighbour Gavin can catch her eye away from grief. Tamar is even refusing her music – her one constant – because it reminds her too much of death. But when she relents and begins to play again, her music unlocks a mysterious crack in time, allowing the gifted violinist Nathaniel to step through the gap. In the brief, stolen moments they share, Nathaniel and Tamar bond over music and shared pain.

The relationship between Nathaniel and Tamar and circumstances of their meeting is original and very poetic. On one side of time, Tamar plays a tune, and then, suddenly, there is Nathaniel, picking up the harmony. The way the author jumps back and forth between 1886 and the present day ties in nicely; both stories unfold, hinting at each other along the way and then they reach the climax – the highly-charged ending. This book made me want to start taking up the piano again – who knows, maybe a cute, chivalrous violinist will appear behind me from the depths of the space-time-continuum and want to jam.

A nice love story for girls aged 12 and up.

Cover image for The Messenger Bird

The Messenger Bird

Rosanne Hawke

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