Christy Lefteri | Paperback | July 2021
The powerful new novel from the bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo.
'I've never read anything quite like Songbirds - a beautifully crafted novel that sits at the intersection of race and class, that flags the frank truth of the life of migrant workers for whom a flight to freedom can become the most finely woven trap.' - Jodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS
'It began with a crunch of leaves and earth. So early, so cold, the branches shone with ice. I'd returned to collect the songbirds. They are worth more than their weight in gold.'
Yiannis is a poacher, trapping the tiny protected songbirds that stop in Cyprus as they migrate each year from Africa to Europe, and selling them on the black market. He dreams of finding a new way of life, and of marrying Nisha, who works for Petra and her daughter Angela. Nisha is raising Angela, mothering her own child back in Sri Lanka by the screen of a phone.
When Nisha disappears, Yiannis is convinced he is responsible, paralysed by heartbreak and fear. Petra is forced to care for her child again, and when little Angela insists that they find Nisha, she begins to see that Nisha hasn't simply run away, and that no one else will bother to look for her.
With infinite tenderness and skill, Christy Lefteri has crafted a powerful story about the unseen who walk among us, cleaning our homes and caring for our children - what it is to migrate in search of freedom, only to find yourself trapped. Songbirds is a triumphant exploration of loss, the strength of the human spirit and the unbreakable bonds of courage, and of love.
Brought up in London, Christy Lefteri is the child of Cypriot refugees. Her novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, is an international bestseller, selling well over a million copies worldwide and published in over 40 countries. The Beekeeper of Aleppo won The Aspen Literary Prize, runner up for The Dayton Literary Prize and won the Prix de l'Union Interalliee for Best Foreign novel in France. It is currently being performed as a play, adapted by Nesrin Alrefaai, and Matthew Spangler for The Nottingham Playhouse, and touring the UK. Songbirds, her follow up novel, was a Sunday Times and international bestseller. Her new published novel, The Book of Fire was published August 2023