Nicole Trope’s fourth novel sees her dealing with extremely sensitive subject matter with a deft hand. The prose is very well-written and the characterisation is fantastic, as she mainly focuses on two damaged women. One is a vengeful special needs person named Birdy while the other is a middle-aged celebrity wife named Rose. Their two entwining stories are interesting to read, especially as Trope reveals little details bit-by-bit and shows that there is a lot more to this story than originally meets the eye.
The pair are currently housed in the Farm, a minimum security prison that acts as a halfway house between a more traditional gaol and life outside. Both of these women have been touched by family tragedies and their reactions have seen them land themselves “behind bars”. Both have very distinct voices, from the childish and literal Birdie who seems to either have a learning difficulty, some form of high-functioning autism or both and the more mature but in some ways rather fragile, Rose.
This story is a heart-breaking, family drama. But it is told in such a clever way that it grips you in. This means that as a reader you will find yourself being totally immersed by it, despite the very difficult subject matter. Both women share emotional scars but Trope uses some interesting methods to expose these, namely the use of finches as a kind of metaphor for freedom and helplessness.
Hush, Little Bird is a great story about some women who were taken advantage of by various people and things and this is particularly sad because this often occurred when they were at their most vulnerable. This is one heavy and emotional book but at the same time it should be applauded for its straight-up storytelling because this lends the proceedings an honest and authentic feel. Nicole Trope’s fourth book is likely to be viewed by some people as explosive and provocative but this is also the sign of a brilliant storyteller because this book will wrestle with your heartstrings and command you to sit up and listen. In short, it’s excellent.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/hush-little-bird/9325753