Book review: The House Of Birds by Morgan McCarthy

Read beyond the initial awkwardness of childhood friends Kate and Oliver’s romance and you’re rewarded with a book so richly engaging, you’ll want to savour it. 

Kate has been left a house by an aunt. Oliver has quit his job and offers to oversee the renovation of what he remembers from a boyhood glimpse of exotic wallpaper as ‘the house of birds’.

Bedding down in the living room, while Kate is in New York, he discovers a diary stuffed within the carefully cut-out pages of an old history book. And so we meet Sophia, the narrator of this story within a story, who once lived in the house.

She relates her life — being barred from the Bodleian Library without a man to introduce her, meeting a young academic called Christopher, who gives her access to the vast cavern of books and in whom she finds comfort (and escape) from her war-scarred husband George.

Not without some plot contrivances, but when McCarthy is writing as Sophia, there’s nothing you’d rather be reading.

The House Of Birds

Morgan McCarthy

Book review: The House Of Birds by Morgan McCarthy

Tinder Press, €21.65; ebook, €11.30 


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner