Home Feed
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
All the Little Bird-Hearts
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
23 posts | 19 read | 34 to read
'Glorious. Unforgettable' Melissa Harrison 'Funny, lyrical, deft and devastating' Amy Sackville 'A distinct and poetic new voice' Clare Pollard I lived for and loved a bird-heart that summer; I only knew it afterwards. Sunday Forrester lives with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Dolly, in the house she grew up in. She does things more carefully than most people. On quiet days, she must eat only white foods. Her etiquette handbook guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is Dolly - her clever, headstrong daughter, now on the cusp of leaving home. Into this carefully ordered world step Vita and Rollo, a couple who move in next door, disarm Sunday with their charm, and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday's book. Soon they are in and out of each others' homes, and Sunday feels loved and accepted like never before. But beneath Vita and Rollo's polish lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

There is a palpable tension and anxiety that builds in this novel because the MC Sunday seems so vulnerable, though there isn‘t anything explicitly threatening in it. I could feel how Sunday‘s rich inner emotional life conflicted with the flat affect of autism she presented. It was a relief when she quit struggling to conform to social expectations and allowed herself to just be. Worth a reread!

Tamra So interesting that verbal communication is a barrier, but not sign language. Loved that mutually accepting relationship! (edited) 2w
Aimeesue Verbal communication can be harder, I think, because there are SO many shades of meaning, which change depending on intonation, body language, facial expression, relationships, etc, etc. That takes a lot of processing. ASL can be just as nuanced, but it also isn‘t used as a word-for-word language, so can be easier to grasp the concept/ideas without getting so bogged down on denotative meanings. Often cuts out a lot of the “noise” in communication. 2w
Tamra @Aimeesue that makes total sense. Thank you! 2w
Cathythoughts Great review ♥️ I have it stacked. 2w
58 likes4 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

This book. 💔 An exquisitely written, heart wrenching story of motherhood, cruelty and betrayal. The narcissistic Vita and cowardly Rolls. Beautiful Sunday. And young Dolly in the middle of it all. A powerful start to my reading year.

BarbaraBB I was pretty sure your reaction would be like mine yet I am glad it is. Such a powerful read. ❤️‍🩹 3mo
sarahbarnes @barbarabb I knew when I saw you loved it that I would, too. 🩵🩵 3mo
squirrelbrain This was one of my favourites of 2023. 💔 3mo
See All 6 Comments
sarahbarnes @squirrelbrain it was just so devastatingly good. 3mo
Suet624 Truly was 💔 3mo
Rissreads Soooooo good! 😊 3mo
48 likes2 stack adds6 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Thus far 2024 has been the year of reading emotionally devastating books. I don‘t know if it was the title that had me expecting something else, but this is one that will stay with me for a very long time. Just exquisite.

BarbaraBB So glad you feel this way too. I loved it, though my heart broke for Sunday 💝 3mo
Amor4Libros Loved this one, too!! ❤️ 3mo
squirrelbrain Gorgeous book - one of my favourites of last year, and my top Booker read, but 😭😭😭 3mo
Suet624 I still feel for Sunday. 3mo
Rissreads Yes I think I will be thinking about this one for a long time too. 3mo
76 likes6 stack adds5 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

This book reminded me of how in nature when there is a bird who is different or injured, so then all the other birds gang up on it and peck it to death. That‘s how I felt poor Sunday was treated by everyone around her, including her daughter Dolly. I had a sense of dread throughout waiting for Sundays heart to be smashed to pieces and mine with it. The hospital scene with her mother made me sob it was so brutal and cruel. It was refreshing to ⬇️

Rissreads Read about a neurodiverse adult who wasn‘t portrayed as ‘quirky‘. Sunday is an inspiration of how to live your life authentically and love yourself. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly I just finished this the other day. Dread is right. It felt weirdly suspenseful to me because I was on pins and needles. Such a beautiful but devastating book. 3mo
Centique Wonderful review Nerissa! This book broke my heart too 💜 3mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I agree. 3mo
45 likes4 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

This is why I read the entire Booker longlist. Otherwise I never pick this gem up. A novel narrated by an autistic mother trying to navigate her daughter‘s teen years. The whole perspective is quirky and works elegantly. We learn about ourselves as our narrator tries to understand the people around her. But her emotions are a mother‘s and we feel them too. There‘s a lot of interesting stuff going in here. I found it terrific and rewarding.

BarbaraBB My favorite on the longlist! 4mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain not my favorite exactly, but I was really moved by this one. The end was so sad and powerful. (edited) 4mo
youneverarrived Great review! Looking forward to reading it. 4mo
Graywacke @youneverarrived thank you! I‘m happy you‘re thinking of reading it. 🙂 4mo
52 likes2 stack adds5 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Some of the summaries of this book say it‘s funny! I know my sense of humour is out of kilter with the general public, but I found this one of the saddest, melancholy books I‘ve ever read.
Poor Sunday 🥲💔

sarahbarnes Waiting for this one to come in from the library. 4mo
squirrelbrain I didn‘t find it funny at all. Loved it though. 💔 4mo
TrishB @sarahbarnes hope you enjoy it when it arrives 👍🏻 4mo
See All 12 Comments
TrishB @squirrelbrain it‘s left me with an aching heart! 4mo
BarbaraBB I really loved this one and my heart broke for Sunday ❤️💔 (edited) 4mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB yes definitely 💔 4mo
Graywacke Funny? My brain hurts now. 4mo
Leniverse I'm still sad for Sunday! Definitely wasn't funny. 4mo
TrishB @Leniverse I really felt for her- she made my heart ache. 4mo
TrishB @Graywacke absolutely 💔 4mo
Centique I know what you mean. This broke my heart! 4mo
TrishB @Centique yes definitely 💔 4mo
88 likes1 stack add12 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

This book reads very different to what I‘m used to and I welcomed the challenge. It was such an interesting story and I found myself really caring and becoming protective of the protagonist, Sunday.

The author is autistic and that adds more depth to the story. I am a fast reader and I found myself slowing down and re-reading paragraphs because I felt my reading needed to match the narration.

Enjoyed this one!

4⭐️ #NetGalley

All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Trying to work out if I actually liked this book 🤔
It was certainly riveting, at times as tense and horrific as any domestic thriller or horror novel. But I came to really dislike most of the characters, and in the end I was just a bit 🤨😯😑 ..really?
Might need to let this one settle a bit and see if it's really 'unforgettable' like it says on the cover.

BarbaraBB It stuck with me for a long time. I felt so sorry for the mother! 5mo
Leniverse @BarbaraBB Yes! I did too. Her daughter was a horrid brat, and almost everyone else were awful! Sunday was so terribly passive though, I'm surprised the King (or more likely the grandparents) didn't finagle custody of Dolly at the time of the divorce. 5mo
BarbaraBB You‘re right about the custody but Sunday loves her daughter so much , despite that passiveness that I somehow loved about her, just like the colorless food. She needed help though, not the neighbors she got 💔 5mo
Leniverse @BarbaraBB Yes, agreed! 5mo
32 likes4 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

I reserved this book based on your review @TrishB ! Thank you as it was so good! The portrayal of Sunday, a single mum who is (presumably) on the spectrum, and the way she perceives the world, really affected me. I found this more authenticate and compassionate than a book like Eleanor Oliphant. It physically hurt when people misunderstood or manipulated or sidelined Sunday. And ill say one other thing under a spoiler comment!

Centique To see the deterioration of her relationship with Dolly was heart breaking. I have a daughter who is more socially aware and has a much better EQ than me - and she is so fiercely protective of me in social spaces (not that i am on the spectrum, but even so!) The contrast made me feel ill - i wanted Dolly to stand up for her mother so much! 😥 5mo
squirrelbrain Loved this book too! 5mo
squirrelbrain I agree with your comment about Dolly. Although I don‘t have kids, I think her behaviour was more to do with society‘s understanding of autism and being on the spectrum at the time (1990s I think) rather than her not being caring. Sunday was just seen as being weird and Vita definitely took advantage of her and Dolly. 5mo
See All 13 Comments
Centique @squirrelbrain thats a really good point! Teens especially are going to be more informed by their peers and outsiders as to what is “strange” about their family and there was so little understanding in society. Dolly did seem conflicted at times didnt she? 5mo
BarbaraBB That‘s a real good point @squirrelbrain ! I loved this book so much and my heart ached for Sunday. Funny that you mention Eleanor Olifant Paula, I didn‘t like that book much either. (edited) 5mo
CarolynM Lovely review💕 5mo
Reggie Stacked cause now I wanna come back and read the spoiler comments. 5mo
TrishB I think it was probably @squirrelbrain review because I haven‘t read it yet! But need to. 5mo
Centique @TrishB oh sorry Trish. It must have been @squirrelbrain and @BarbaraBB reviews! 👍😍 5mo
Centique @CarolynM thank you Carolyn 💕 Hope you are doing okay and your folks are stable 🤞💜 5mo
Centique @Reggie oh yes do! I think you will have some interesting opinions 💕 5mo
Rissreads I‘m in! Stacked! I wanna read the spoilers! 🤣 5mo
Suet624 Oh, this book. Loved it. 4mo
77 likes3 stack adds13 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

An autistic mom meets an eccentric couple who move in next door. She and her daughter are captivated by this couple. Over time you begin to wonder what is really going on underneath this couple's jolly lifestyle and how will it ultimately impact this mom. It's a quiet book and one in which you begin to understand living with autism. More than that, you want to give her a hug as you watch how her daughter and family members treat her.

BarbaraBB Wonderful review. I loved this book and especially the mom 🤍 6mo
Suet624 The mom …. 💕💕💕 6mo
squirrelbrain Fabulous review - I loved this one too. 6mo
62 likes3 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

I started this book and read and read and then came to a point at which I didn‘t know I was still reading because I liked it or because I was feeling sorry for it. (this months #bookspin)

All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Our protagonist is a woman who doesn‘t seem to get the social norms and says things she shouldn‘t say, prefer to eat white foods and likes being on her own. One day, a new neighbor arrives, Vita, and she doesn‘t seem to care about this and is so sparkling. Before she knows it, she and her daughter hangs out with Vita and her husband all the time. And things might take a turn that our protagonist didn‘t see.

66 likes2 stack adds4 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

It was only three years ago that I saw Vita for the first time.


All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

This book just broke me 😭😭

BarbaraBB My favorite so far 7mo
BookwormM My favourite so far as well 7mo
36 likes2 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Seriously!??! That‘s a lot of $$$$ for little bird hearts!!! Damn, I miss BOOK DEPOSITORY ☹️😫😠Of course it will end up winning the Booker!

CBee What the??? 😳😳😳😳 7mo
Librarybelle Are you able to receive books from Blackwells? I‘ve been ordering from them since the sad Book Depository departure. Not sure how delivery is for outside of UK or US… 7mo
vlwelser I'm also missing Book Depository. A lot of these Booker titles aren't out in the US. 7mo
See All 14 Comments
Suet624 @Librarybelle @vlwelser I ordered from Blackwells and the book was delivered free of shipping costs to the US. The book I wanted was not published yet in the US but was available through Blackwells and it arrived quickly. 7mo
Librarybelle @Suet624 I‘ve placed several orders already from Blackwells and have been happy so far. I‘m waiting for another book on its way that is not available in the US yet. (edited) 7mo
Suet624 @Librarybelle 👏 👏 👏 💜 7mo
Cinfhen I‘ve checked before @Librarybelle @Suet624 Blackwell‘s doesn‘t ship to Israel 😭I can always order to my kids or parents in the States and get the books next time I visit ( so that‘s a good option) but frustrating!! 7mo
Cinfhen But how ridiculous is that price @CBee @vlwelser ??? Like why????? 7mo
Cinfhen Guess what @Suet624 @Librarybelle ?!?! They DO SHIP to Israel!!!! Yay!!! Maybe it was WaterStones who didn‘t ship! Thanks so much ♥️now I need to contact them because my billing address and shipping address are different and it doesn‘t seem to give me an option 🙈 7mo
Cinfhen Ok🎉🎉I see now !! Thanks for the good info😘 7mo
Suet624 I‘m glad it worked out! 7mo
vlwelser It's probably some jerk selling on Amazon. I don't even think Amazon has these yet. At least they don't here. 7mo
Librarybelle Hooray!!! 7mo
CBee @Cinfhen totally price gouging 😡 7mo
56 likes14 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

The magpie in the Larsen trap, too, must have shone as the birds considered him from the sky. It was only afterwards, when pressed close against him in the confines of his little cage, that they could realise that what they had mistaken for brilliance was simply the undisturbed grease of his flightless wings.

This isn't going to go well, is it?

BarbaraBB Loved this one so much. My favorite so far 8mo
33 likes1 comment
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

Two very contrasting #bookerlonglist reviews…I adored this one!

Sunday is neurodiverse and we see what happens when her life and her routines are upended by new neighbours. The author herself is ND so this felt very sensitively done, and I loved the setting of the late 80s / early 90s when, of course, neurodiversity was even less understood than it is now.

It‘s up at the top of my own Booker shortlist. Book 8 of 13.

BookwormM Yay looking forward to this (edited) 8mo
charl08 Glad you had a good read as well as the dud! 8mo
Suet624 Can‘t wait for my hold to come in 8mo
See All 11 Comments
Deblovestoread I‘ve been loving all the reviews for this one…may have to give in and buy a UK edition. Missing Book Depository but Blackwell‘s and I are starting to get acquainted 😂 8mo
Megabooks I‘m really pleased with the quality neurodiverse books coming out recently. I‘ll stack this! 8mo
JamieArc @Deblovestoread I‘m in the exact same boat! 8mo
LeeRHarry Admiring your dedication to reading the longlist Helen - following your reviews closely so I know which ones are the best to head to 😊 8mo
BarbaraBB Still my favorite so far 8mo
ClairesReads Glad to hear this one worked for you too! You‘re smashing through the longlist! 8mo
Caroline2 Oh this just arrived on my doorstep from Waterstones! 😀 So glad to hear you liked it. 👍 8mo
squirrelbrain It‘s really good @Caroline2 ! 8mo
78 likes3 stack adds11 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

As a neurotypical reader, this felt like one of the most genuinely voiced, honest, and authentic stories about neurodiversity which I have read. It‘s a novel about the contrast between quiet and loud lives. It does an excellent job of conveying the complexities of neurodiverse life in a way that doesn‘t sensationalise quirkiness. What I thought was done best was the exploration of how the unfamiliar can be both enticing and threatening.

squirrelbrain Great review - I‘m listening to this on audio currently. 8mo
ClairesReads @squirrelbrain looking forward to hearing what you think of it 8mo
Centique Im really looking forward to this one! 8mo
39 likes4 stack adds3 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

#BookReport 32/23

I absolutely loved the tagged book. It is this week‘s favorite. The Memory of Animals was disappointing. Lazily written with a poor, boring result. The Persephone was just okay for me. I feel like the dementia subject might not be the most comfortable to me right now, with my mother possibly going there.

TrishB That‘s a tough time and must have been difficult to read. 8mo
TheBookHippie ♥️ 8mo
squirrelbrain 💔 8mo
See All 17 Comments
JamieArc The tagged is one I‘m really looking forward to from the Booker Longlist. Glad to see you like it - makes me want to read it even more! 8mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB @TheBookHippie @squirrelbrain thank you friends, means a lot 🤍 8mo
BarbaraBB @JamieArc My favorite so far! 8mo
sarahbarnes I‘m so glad to hear you liked this one from the longlist! That makes me want to prioritize reading it. It sounds very good. 8mo
sarahbarnes I‘m sorry about what is happening with your mother. 🤍 8mo
Cinfhen I can definitely understand why the Persephone would be a difficult read but glad to hear the tagged Booker was a solid winner 🏆 8mo
Christine I‘m sorry to hear about your mom. ❤️ My mom lived with dementia for years and just passed in May at age 89. I didn‘t want to read any fiction with that plot point during those years, but I‘m feeling more open to it now. 8mo
Centique So much sympathy for what youre going through Barbara. I really hope that any decline slows down and doesnt get worse 💕💕 8mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @Centique @Cinfhen Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot. 8mo
BarbaraBB @Christine you must have had a hard time. I hope you are feeling better now 🤍 8mo
Megabooks We always have one camp disappointment. ☹️ 8mo
Megabooks I have trouble with dementia books too. I‘m glad you @Cinfhen and I have each other. 💕💕 8mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Me too, very grateful for! 8mo
Suet624 Oh, Barbara … I‘m sorry to hear about your mom. ❤️ 8mo
84 likes17 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image

#Booker23 3/13

Oh Sunday! She is a character that‘ll stick with me for a long time. Damaged by her past she manages to control her life by sticking to some rules: eating only white foods, follow her etiquette handbook and escape in Sicilian folklore tales. There is however her 16-year old daughter who wants more of life. And just then new neighbors arrive.
I can‘t say too much without spoiling things but it is a book that touched me deeply.

Cathythoughts Sounds good 👍🏻❤️ 8mo
squirrelbrain Oh good! I‘m going to listen to this one on Audible. I just downloaded it this morning, but I‘m listening to Pearl first. 8mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I‘ll tag you next time. Tag me please too. I‘m not sure who reads the longlist! 8mo
See All 7 Comments
BookwormM Just finished Pearl and am currently reading How to Build a Boat glad this one is a good one just waiting on the library @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB 8mo
squirrelbrain I just got How to Build a Boat from the library but need to read In Ascension first as that is due back sooner. @BookwormM 8mo
BookwormM I am loving Boat it reminds me of Bewilderment but the Longlist so far is a lot of dead or missing parents, siblings or partners. 8mo
BarbaraBB @BookwormM I‘ll tag you too next time, very interested in your thoughts! Glad to hear Boat is good. How is Pearl? @squirrelbrain ? I‘ve read two more some time ago, will tag you in those reviews too. Super excited about the longlist even though it is mostly sad books again! I loved bird-hearts! 8mo
73 likes5 stack adds7 comments
All the Little Bird-Hearts | Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow
post image
charl08 A Spell of Good Things by Ayobami Adebayo on the library's reservation shelf already :-)
Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry reserved
Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein no copies in the library - put a request to order it.
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery - reserved
How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney - reserved
This Other Eden by Paul Harding - reserved
charl08 Pearl by Sian Hughes (not in the library and given the subject matter I might wait until the shortlist is announced)
All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow - reserved
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch - not out here yet (later in August)
In Ascension by Martin McInnes - reserved
Western Lane by Chetna Maroo - reserved
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Not a fan, might pass for now)
Julsmarshall Thanks for sharing-looks like an amazing group of books. That cover of Prophet Song took my breath away! 8mo
See All 17 Comments
jlhammar Yay! Look forward to your reviews! The majority of these aren't out in the US yet so not sure how many I'll get to before the shortlist (I think I'm going to resist ordering from Blackwell's for now). The Barry is the only one I've read and I thought it was phenomenal. Really tough read though in terms of subject matter. 8mo
batsy @jlhammar Happy to hear you liked the Barry! I've not read him before and @CarolynM also gave this one a thumbs up 🙂 8mo
TheKidUpstairs I'm so intrigued by this list. So many from indie publishers, so many I'd never heard of! Lots aren't out yet in Canada, but I'll start with what I can! 8mo
Ruthiella I agree, the list this year is intriguing! I‘ll be curious to hear from those readers who are tackling the longlist as to what I might end up trying. 8mo
charl08 @Julsmarshall looking forward to lots of bookish disucssion about the merits of these. 8mo
charl08 @jlhammar oh that's frustrating! Although maybe a relief for the TBR pile?!! 8mo
charl08 @batsy tempting. My problem is knowing what to read first! 8mo
charl08 @TheKidUpstairs it is good to see the indies getting a nod. 8mo
charl08 @Ruthiella well, I'll be giving it a go. Wish me luck! 8mo
rmaclean4 So excited to dive in! 8mo
BarbaraBB Very excited about this years choices! So far I‘ve only read two but I‘ve purchased a bunch to take with me on vacation 💃 8mo
charl08 @rmaclean4 me too. A few library books to finish first... 8mo
charl08 @BarbaraBB sounds like the basis of a good trip to me! 8mo
rmaclean4 @charl08 just finished my library reads. I have read This Other Eden before. Just started In Acension and Old God's Time. Booker is like Christmas in the summer!!! 8mo
52 likes17 comments