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The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal—and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok—and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldly growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is—and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
LITTLE BIRD is a story about found family, no matter how bizarre.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Little Bird Review:
Little Bird is the book you wish you had on hand the last time you found yourself in the aftermath of a great loss. I initially wanted to read Little Bird because of that gorgeous cover and it was wonderfully fitting that I finished this book at midnight. Horror readers will likely think this one is a little tame, but this is the perfect book for those looking to dip their toe into horror without having to sleep with the light on.
Josie’s struggle with despair (and her, er, “coping mechanism” of hiding from the work and drinking a lot) will feel familiar to anyone who’s found themselves stuck deep in a well of grief and routine. The appearance of Skelly on her throne of vines pushes Josie to make connections with other living things besides her trusty dog, Po. Skelly and Josie’s overbearing new neighbor pick apart her hardened isolation and start to make all of us wonder, what does it mean to heal and move forward after loss? Told in flashbacks, drunken memories, and conversations, we get to learn more about why Josie has convinced herself that all she needs are Po and her often surly client base in her life.
I found myself oddly rooting for the sentient skeleton in this book. Skelly’s appearance is certainly not random and her stories and observations about humanity are not ones to miss. I rounded up to five stars because of how this story stuck with me – the vines wove into my life too.
Thank you to NetGalley, Blackspot Books, and Tiffany Meuret for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Little Bird is set to be released June 7th, 2022. Get a reminder to pre-order or purchase by signing up for my newsletter here.