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Bird of Passage is a powerful story of childhood trauma and obsessive love in a beautiful Scottish setting.

In present day Scotland, successful musician India Laurence travels back to the small island where she was born, in an attempt to unravel her late mother's tragic love story. But when she is given a folio of her mother's drawings, the mystery only deepens.

'Most of Kirsty's paintings were full of light, as vibrant as she had once been herself. But these were stark studies in black and white, light and shade, Gothic in their intensity. They were more like illustrations for a book, but what book could that possibly be? Staring at them, one after another, India had to suppress a shudder. There was something terrible about them.'

In 1960s Scotland, young Finn O'Malley travels from Ireland with his friend Francis to help with the potato harvest on a remote island farm. He and Kirsty, the farmer's red-headed grand-daughter, become close friends, and Finn finds a measure of kindness and concern instead of the cruelty he has known. Time passes, Kirsty moves away and the threads that have bound these two friends so closely together begin to unravel. Only her ambitions as an artist can give Kirsty the fulfillment she seeks, but her work is tied up with her love for her home as much as for Finn, the mysterious Bird of Passage of the title, who comes and goes like the corncrake each summer. And Finn is irrevocably damaged by a childhood so traumatic that he can only recover his memories slowly.

What happened at the brutal Industrial School to which he was committed while still a little boy? For the sake of his sanity and before he can make any commitment of his own, Finn must find out why he was taken into care, what became of the mother he loved and lost, and the meaning of the distressing images that still haunt his sleeping and waking hours.

What reviewers have said:
'I was three-quarters of the way through this book ... before it dawned on me that it was Wuthering Heights in modern dress. I was tipped off by a couple of sly and amusing references to twigs tapping on windows and ghosts,and by the hero disappearing for years and then returning a rich man. It's not a re-telling, though - it's a re-imagining. A dialogue with the older book, if you like. It asks, would the same story, the same deathless love, be possible in the modern age, and if so, how? I was convinced, moved and impressed. Whether you love Wuthering Heights or not, if you enjoy an involving, beautifully written book, you'll enjoy Bird of Passage.
Susan Price, Awfully Big Reviews

'There are no pat answers in this story and no neatly contrived solutions. Endings are jagged, situations remain unresolved. Yet at the end of the book there is a feeling of satisfaction that things did work out as they should - at least to some extent. I think that makes the story and its characters all the more realistic and credible. It's hard to pigeonhole this book to a specific genre. It's a love story, yet sometimes defies the label. It's contemporary, yet dwells quite a bit in the past. As to its audience - I think this would appeal to readers who don't need to be led by the hand and who enjoy challenging relationships. Wholeheartedly recommended.'
Gilly Fraser, the Indie eBook Review.

Catherine Czerkawska is an established and award winning author of novels, short stories and plays.


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Used availability for Catherine Czerkawska's Bird of Passage

Kindle Editions

December 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Bird of Passage
Author(s): Catherine Czerkawska
Publisher: Wordarts
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA