Author: Sandy Day
Published: August 2020
Category: Family Drama, Contemporary Fiction, Relationships, Book Review
Sometimes sisters and brothers don’t get along – even when they’re middle aged.
Kaffy Sullivan lives and works in the business her grandparents began in the 20th century. Reclusive and offbeat, Kaffy hopes to inherit the inn and, with the help of her sister-in-law, operate it for the rest of her life.
Birds Don’t Cry explores the sibling relationships in the dysfunctional Sullivan family, mostly from Kaffy’s perspective.
A traumatic past shaped Kaffy into a loner who finds it difficult to engage. She has carried on running her grandparents’ inn after their deaths with the invaluable help of her sister-in-law, Sylvia, the only person she feels anything like comfortable with. Sylvia is married to Red Sullivan, Kaffy’s brother, who is doing some renovation work at the inn. Maxine, their older sister makes short appearances when she believes there could be something to her advantage.
With the prospect of a prestigious reviewer from The Lonely Tripper visiting the inn, Kaffy is aware this could make or break the business, so some TLC is called for. But when Sylvia doesn’t show up for work one morning, Kaffy is at first confused. Sylvia is never late.
“Red, where’s Sylvia?” Kaffy called to her brother from the back door of the inn.
Red shrugged. He fiddled with the tailgate of his truck. Infuriating—he was always tinkering and fidgeting.
“Isn’t she coming to work today?”
Red looked at Kaffy, his face expressionless but somewhat grim. “I haven’t seen her.” What did he mean by that, he got out of bed earlier than she did?
As time goes on Kaffy’s confusion turns into worry. She reports Sylvia as missing and begins her own random, disjointed search, desperate to find Sylvia. Apart from her feelings of anxiety, Kaffy knows she’ll not be able to get the inn ready in time by herself. Red doesn’t seem particularly concerned about his wife’s disappearance which baffles Kaffy. Sylvia isn’t her only reason for worrying though, as she discovers what her brother and sister may be up to.
Birds Don’t Cry is an intriguing title. I wondered how it could relate to the story and it’s quite a poignant link. This is a character driven tale of siblings who are uncomfortable in each others company, unable or unwilling to share their feelings, an incident in Kaffy’s youth, buried deep, at the root of it all.
The well written plot and characters develop slowly and steadily, as more is revealed and the characters are brought to life. I enjoyed it.
I chose to read and review Birds Don’t Cry for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
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