Formats and Prices
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 clever headstrong Dolly, 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 glamor and 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.
An astute and poignant psychological portrait of a woman coming to terms with what love means, and why discovering our own unique gifts can save us.
- “A poetic debut which masterfully intertwines themes of familial love, friendship, class, prejudice and trauma with psychological acuity and wit.” —The Booker Prize Judges 2023
“A novel both delicate and strong, illuminating the disturbing and the extraordinary to be found in the every day. Sunday is a beguiling and beguiled narrator, and her story an examination of the disjunction between humans’ private and public selves. I loved it.”
—Maggie O’Farrell, National Book Critics Circle winner and New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait
“Observations land with the startling yet welcome snap of good standup comedy. . .The result is a tightly focused story, set almost entirely in two neighboring houses on a quiet street, that’s also a gleeful skewering of social codes, a raw portrait of family life and a revealing account of neurodivergence. Sunday may shy away from attention, but Lloyd-Barlow makes her wary, vigilant and poetic voice the star in a mesmerizing debut.”
- Five Stars."Superb. Wonderful. All the Little Bird-Hearts is a beautiful, bittersweet debut…sharply evocative of both motherhood and how British society treats people with disabilities. Throughout the novel, Lloyd-Barlow’s prose sings, and has real acuteness of observation.” —The Telegraph
“What a glorious, unforgettable character Vita is. And I loved Sunday's voice too, so unique, right from the off. It showed me things about autism that will stay with me. A genuinely valuable book, but more importantly I enjoyed being inside its world.”
—Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley
“Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow's is a distinct and poetic new voice. This novel about the complex desires behind our closest relationships is undercut with the darkness of Sicilian folklore: the fisherman who promises away his child; the lover who is a wolf; a caged magpie; burning fields.”
—Clare Pollard, poet and author of Delphi
“Funny, lyrical, deft and devastating. Full of longing and love.”
—Amy Sackville, author of Painter to the King
- On Sale
- Dec 5, 2023
- Page Count
- 304 pages
- Algonquin Books