Little Bird

Little Bird by Tiffany Meuret is a short book about a strange found-family. Josie is a depressed alcoholic, who wakes up one day to find a talking skeleton in her backyard.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal—and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok—and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldy growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is—and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
LITTLE BIRD is a story about found family, no matter how bizarre.

This was going to be a nightmare. Which was certainly true, but not for any of the reasons she expected.

This story starts off immediately in an interesting way. It’s humorous, and the relationship between Josie and her dog and everyone else was entertaining. Yet, that entertainment didn’t last. This book feels more like something that should have been more of a short story, or novella, rather than a book. If it had been about 50-100 pages shorter, I think I would have enjoyed the entire story more.

There wasn’t ever a good time to stop by in Josie’s opinion, but immediately after discovering a sentient, passive-aggressive skeleton in her yard was probably one of the worst.

This book focuses, seemingly, more on the confusing and jarring stories the skeleton is telling rather than the ongoing plot. The stories felt distracting, and by the second or third one, I was over it. I realized it was a theme in the book, and it made me less interested in picking the book back up and continuing with my read. I wanted to know about Josie and Skelly, about the neighbor, about this relationship. Unfortunately, outside of the tidy clean-up at the end, I didn’t really get that.

“I prefer expediency on my own terms, thank you.” Three days to spin a tale never yet heard by the likes of an apparently immortal being. This was fine. “As do we all, Little Bird, but the cosmos cares little for our petty desires.”

This is a short review for an equally short book, that could have benefitted from being shorter. The things I liked (the humor, the strange skeleton) didn’t have enough focus, which was odd considering the way the book was described. Josie is interesting, and I have questions still about her relationships with others. Did anyone else notice the vines in her yard? Does her mother know what happened to her? Those are questions I won’t get answers to, and instead, I can tell you obscure skeleton tales.
Thank you to Netgalley and Blackspot Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.