Flight of a Starling


You know when a book looks into your soul and says ‘I know you’? Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield (Electric Monkey) got me like that.

‘Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with. Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground? Flight of a Starling is a heartbreaking read with an important message.’

Lisa Heathfield’s writing shines. It has crystal precision. It is different, unexpected, truthful. The kind of writing that wakes you up and makes you see things like new. It’s a bit like Katherine Rundell’s writing, a bit like Jenny Downham. A bit like nothing I’ve read before.

Flight of a Starling is about difference and the patterns that make us. About finding yourself and having the courage to be yourself. It’s also about understanding family and their flaws; the realisation that people are fallible, mistakes are made. It’s about finding your place. Navigating that scary unknown thing, the future.

And now for the hard bit. Which is a bit spoilery, so stop here if you want to read it fresh.

Flight of a Starling deals with suicide. My mum tried to kill herself when I was a young adult. She took a lot of pills and at first she was fine and apologetic and then she wasn’t and her body started to break down. She was in intensive care and we said our goodbyes. She did get better. But our relationship has been changed forever. I wonder what it would have been like to have this book then. I wonder if I would have been ready for it. But I was certainly ready for it now and I’m so grateful that it exists. Suicide is a hard, emotive, painful thing and Lisa Heathfield writes about it with honesty and without judgement. It feels raw and truthful and filled with understanding. I hope this book can prevent other families from dealing with it.

Books are our eyes into other lives and experiences and they help us understand and empathise and learn. They reassure and affirm. They hold your heart and say it’s ok.

This book held my heart.

Thank you, Lisa.

You can get your copy here.

And if you haven’t already read Lisa Heathfield’s previous books, Seed and Paper Butterflies, then GET ON IT! NOW!

Source – e-book kindly sent for review by the publisher.

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