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Owl Song at Dawn

Owl Song at Dawn (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Read our exclusive interview with Emma Claire Sweeney here.





Maeve Maloney is a force to be reckoned with. Despite nearing eighty, she keeps Sea View Lodge just as her parents did during Morecambe's 1950s heyday. But now only her employees and regular guests recognise the tenderness and heartbreak hidden beneath her spikiness. Until, that is, Vincent shows up. Vincent is the last person Maeve wants to see. He is the only man alive to have known her twin sister, Edie. The nightingale to Maeve's crow, the dawn to Maeve's dusk, Edie would have set her sights on the stage - all things being equal. But, from birth, things never were. If only Maeve could confront the secret past she shares with Vincent, she might finally see what it means to love and be loved - a lesson that her exuberant yet inexplicable twin may have been trying to teach her all along.



Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Legend Press Ltd Publication Date: 27/06/2016 ISBN-13: 9781785079672  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Emma Claire Sweeney has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish. She teaches creative writing at New York University in London; co-runs SomethingRhymed.com - a website on female literary friendship; and publishes features and pieces on disability for the likes of the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and The Times. Owl Song at Dawn is inspired by her sister, who has autism. Visit Emma at emmaclairesweeney.com or on Twitter @emmacsweeney

See our Author Page for Emma Claire Sweeney

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Customer Reviews

Owl Song At Dawn is a quiet, sensitive book that will linger with its readers, unsentimental yet moving. Its 80 year-old protagonist is a flawed but kindly person, easy to like – and with her first person narrative, easy to identify with. The story of her disabled twin sister is slowly revealed over the course of the modern-day tale of her two young ‘adopted grandchildren’ who see Downs Syndrome as no impediment to their marriage. I recently read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, a multi-million bestseller which touches on similar themes – the struggle to provide a quality family life for a disabled child around the middle of last century – and betrayal and misunderstanding. I found Owl Song At Dawn a more satisfying read, perhaps because it left more to the reader’s imagination. A phrase such as, ‘All’s well when Mum is here,’ says so much more than pages of description of the mother’s care. Ultimately I puzzled as to why Maeve, the protagonist, took almost sixty years to re-evaluate what had happened in her youth – and what was the catalyst for her change of heart. But if we let too much logic into a story it can sometimes defuse its poignancy, so I choose instead to focus on the hopeful tone of the book, a pleasant change from so many stories of elderly people with dementia.

- 04/11/2016
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In the guise of of a poignant and, at times, very funny story about a Morecambe boarding house for and partly staffed by the disabled, attitudes towards the disabled that have scarcely shifted over eight decades, from the 1930s to the present day, are laid bare. It has the deep-seated family trauma of Maggie O'Farrell, the intricate characterisation of Kate Atkinson and the engaging storytelling of Chris Cleave, all told in prose free of flounce but full of poetry.

- 18/08/2016
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Staff Choice

This book could almost have been plucked fully-formed from the annals of not-too-distant British history. It is the story of Edie, who has Downs Syndrome, and her family's furious fight to protect her from a society bent on institutionalisation. It's also the story of her sister Maeve, who at nearly 80 years old is finally confronting the complex realities of responsibility, care, companionship and her own burden of guilt. Fierce, heartbreaking, sensitive and ultimately redemptive, this is a book that will stay with you long after you've put it down.

Marion, Charing Cross Road

Read our exclusive interview with Emma Claire Sweeney

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 20/01/2017

Delivery

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Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Second Class Available free for ALL orders. No charge for each additional book. 3-7 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
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Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
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