Christine Knight first introduced Mavis Mills in Life Song. Mavis was an unsophisticated, yet very talented, singer with a lot of personal baggage. A single mom with a history of bad choices, she overcame the odds and became a breakout star. In Song Bird, we see the costs of fame and Mavis’s challenges in holding to herself and her family. While Song Bird can be read as a standalone novel, it is probably best to read Life Song first.
As a sign of her new life, Mavis has started calling herself Nikki, as a break from her previous life, but still has to find the her place within it. While on a world tour, fame, fortune, and the constant spotlight create ongoing stress that she tries to manage by wearing red shoes that remind her of her son and family (one of several nods to the Wizard of Oz.) Mavis/Nikki is a well-developed character surrounded by deep supporting ones. Knight writes with care, creating an engaging story of a young woman growing up in difficult circumstances. Her son, Dan, has his own issues with his mother’s new fame and questions about his father that Mavis needs to address, as well.
Character-driven stories depend on good characters in challenging situations, and Song Bird provides both. Descriptions of Australia and use of native slang keeps the reader in the mode, while dialog keeps the characters individual. Through it all, Mavis/Nikki continues to grow into the woman she wants to be, not the one others expect her to be, yet with challenges that make it a coming of age story and not a scripted romance novel. Mavis struggles and creates her own life and doesn’t need a man to finish it for her. A memorable book for fans of music, Australia, and character-driven novels.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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