Book Review – Song Of The Robin by R. V. Biggs
In ’Song of the Robin’, we come to know Sarah, a woman plagued by confusing visions and worrying dreams. Her life is pretty organised. She’s good at her job, although doesn’t find much inspiration in it. She has a best friend, a hard-working brother, and has had a happy childhood.
When the story begins, Sarah has started losing time. Hours pass while she’s looking through the window. Her working day evaporates in the blink of an eye. She has blackouts, and sometimes finds herself pulling into her driveway or waking up in bed with no idea how she got there.
As the story progresses, we learn that Sarah’s understanding of her life is misguided. Some of the characters she leans on for support aren’t really there. The mystery man who appears to be stalking her may or may not be malevolent. Her husband may not be as she understands him to be.
A well-structured story, and dealing with a subject that fascinates me, I’m sorry to say: I struggled with this book. Although interspersed with deeply poetic prose, to me, it read like a police report. It felt like a series of facts, rather than a story being told. The dialogue felt rather stilted and I didn’t believe in the friendship between Sarah and her best friend (practically sister), Rachel. They didn’t sound like women to me.
Sarah faces quite a dismal situation all the way through the book, from the domestic disputes of the beginning, to the awkward preoccupation with which characters may or may not be gay (really right the way through), I found this to be a rather uncomfortable read.
However, I persevered, and as the facts of Sarah’s reality, as opposed to her marbled understanding of it, became clear – the story sadly overbalanced, going from sad and cyclical to sickly sweet. There was a suggestion of a lurking darkness in the last few pages but, for me, it was too little too late.