Okay, first of all, the title of this ghost story is a bit misleading since the main character, Laura, is having sleepless nights due to mysterious bird song in the old house she and her husband Owen recently bought. Perhaps, it refers to something that happens near the end of the book. Don’t worry. I won’t give any spoilers.
Laura is a retired ballet dancer and her husband, Owen, is a conductor. They are both really well drawn characters, but Laura is the focus of the reader’s sympathy. Her story is so immersive that a couple of times, I actually thought the story moved from first person to third person, when in fact it had been third person the whole time.
I really enjoyed the writing. Some of the images are very poetic and really add to the atmosphere. After a careful, incremental build-up, the tension ratchets as Laura’s sanity is questioned and the terrible history of the house is revealed. This isn’t a book for readers looking for lots of gore, but it has plenty of surprises. The psychological depth of the main characters is key to its success for me. This anchors the weird to reality and gives the reader a reason to care.