I was accepted to read Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield recently on NetGalley and I was so happy! I met Lisa Heathfield at YALC this year and she was SO lovely. I loved her other books, Paper Butterflies and Seed (read my snippet reviews of them here), so I couldn’t wait to start this one. I’ll talk a little bit about meeting Lisa at YALC and then get straight to my review.
Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.
Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?
Meeting Lisa at YALC!
Before I went to YALC I had a rough idea of who I wanted to meet, and Lisa Heathfield was at the top of my priority list. I’ve loved all of her books so I had to get them all signed. I took Paper Butterflies and Seed with me, and then I bought Flight of a Startling while I was there.
We chatted about her books and which one I loved best (it has to be Seed), and then she signed my books. She tried her hardest to remember a quote to write in the book. I’m so glad she did because it added a lovely unique touch to a book I loved!
We also went to hear Lisa talk on a panel, which was so interesting. I’ll talk more about that and the other things I did at YALC in another blog post soon!
Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield:
The Circus Setting
The first thing I loved was the circus setting – it was so interesting to read! The set up almost felt similar to Seed – the setting in Seed is within a small cult family, and the circus atmosphere where no one leaves and only very particular people join felt very familiar. There were similar themes too, with the main character Lo wondering about life on the outside and wanting to escape the claustrophobic world she’s stuck in.
I found it fascinating to learn about life within the circus because it’s something I’ve never really thought about before. It was clear to see that a lot of research had been done to get it all perfect.
The Story & Characters
It look a little while for me to really get into the story. I flew through Seed and Paper Butterflies in a couple of days, but it took a good couple of weeks to read this one. (Maybe it was down to me being a bit more distracted though, rather than the book itself.)
I instantly liked the characters (and disliked others) and I really liked the dynamic between sisters Lo and Rita. It was interesting too that the story switched between their perspectives. I didn’t see why this was happening to begin with but as I got closer to the end, I started to see why!
I still can’t even believe what happened at the end. I finished the book weeks ago and I’m still shocked! Anyone who knows me knows that I almost never cry at anything – especially books – but I was so shocked and upset by the ending that my throat hurt. I’m still in disbelief – everything happened so quickly which matched the reality of what was really happening, and I couldn’t stop reading. Lisa talked a bit about what happened at YALC and her inspiration behind it, and it made it even more devastating.
As hard as I tried, I can’t think of any faults with Flight of a Starling. It has great characters, unexpected twists and turns (I love a good twist), and an ending that makes you want to sob. Lisa Heathfield, you’ve done it again. She’s definitely now an author on my auto-buy list, and she should be on yours too!
Click the links below to buy a copy of Flight of a Starling*, or read about it on Goodreads:
*Note: Affiliate links used – click here for details. 🙂