Five words from the blurb: farmer, observes, birds, teach, sex
Mateship with Birds was one of the books on the 2013 Women’s Fiction Prize Longlist that didn’t really appeal to me. Luckily the writing quality was fantastic; it’s just a shame that the plot was so simple.
Mateship with Birds is set on an Australian farm. Harry is a lonely farmer who decides to teach his neighbour’s son about sex. Very little happens in this book, but the writing is vivid and the animals on the farm are particularly well described:
If there were awards for the best sex in literature then this book would be a strong contender. The tenderness of the writing was beautiful and the relationship between each character felt realistic. I felt a little distanced from events, but this style worked well given the sexual nature of the text. I should warn sensitive readers that this book contains scenes of slaughter, beastiality, and lots of sexual content.
My main problem with the book was that the plot was too simple. It was so short I read it in a single sitting, but it lacked the power and insight required to make such a quick read memorable. The individual passages were fantastic, but they failed to come together to form a compelling novel.
Overall the writing quality was enough to justify a place on the WFP longlist, but I can’t see it progressing any further.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
…if writing style can be true to the Australian agricultural landscape, this is it – sparse, brittle, obvious. Books are My Favourite and Best
…it felt as though there were the beginnings of a great novel here, but one that isn’t given space to develop. Crikey
Carrie’s writing style is unique, and incredibly readable. That Book You Like