The powerful new novel from the bestselling author of The Beekeeper Of Aleppo.
‘I’ve never read anything quite like Songbirds – a beautifully crafted novel that sits at the intersection of race and class, that flags the frank truth of the life of migrant workers for whom a flight to freedom can become the most finely woven trap.’ – Jodi Picoult
‘It began with a crunch of leaves and earth. So early, so cold, the branches shone with ice. I’d returned to collect the songbirds. They are worth more than their weight in gold.’
Yiannis is a poacher, trapping the tiny protected songbirds that stop in Cyprus as they migrate each year from Africa to Europe, killing them with his bare hands to be sold on the black market. He dreams of finding a new way of life, and of marrying Nisha, who works for Petra and her daughter Angela. Nisha is raising Angela, mothering her own child back in Sri Lanka by the screen of a phone.
When Nisha disappears, Yiannis is convinced he is responsible, paralysed by heartbreak and fear. Petra is forced to care for her child again, and when little Angela insists that they find Nisha, she begins to see that Nisha hasn’t simply run away, and that no one else will bother to look for her.
With infinite tenderness and skill, Christy Lefteri has crafted a powerful story about the unseen who walk among us, cleaning our homes and caring for our children – what it is to migrate in search of freedom, only to find yourself trapped. Songbirds is a triumphant exploration of loss, the strength of the human spirit and the unbreakable bonds of courage, and of love.
‘Christy Lefteri has crafted a beautiful novel, intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant. I’m recommending this book to everyone I care about’ – Benjamin Zephaniah on The Beekeeper of Aleppo
‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a story of loss, love, resilience and hope. In the same school as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Kite Runner, it’s impossible not to be moved by Lefteri’s plea for humanity and perhaps inspired too’ – Observer, on The Beekeeper of Aleppo
‘Courageous, proactive, haunting’ – Heather Morris, on The Beekeeper of Aleppo