‘One of the best books I have ever read. Incredibly moving’ Elton John
‘I cant recommend it too highly’ Helen Macdonald
‘Ranks among the best modern coming-of-age memoirs’ Sunday Times
‘Where Helen Macdonald’s H Is For Hawk meets Gerald Durrell’s My Family And Other Animals … Remarkable’ Daily Mail
‘Beautiful, wise, compassionate and powerful’ Isabella Tree
This is a story about birds and fathers.
About the young magpie that fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard into Charlie Gilmour’s life – and swiftly changed it. Demanding worms around the clock, riffling through his wallet, sharing his baths and roosting in his hair…
About the jackdaw kept at a Cornish stately home by Heathcote Williams, anarchist, poet, magician, stealer of Christmas, and Charlie’s biological father who vanished from his life in the dead of night.
It is a story about repetition across generations and birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father and a desire to build a nest of one’s own.
It is a story about change – from wild to tame; from sanity to madness; from life to death to birth; from freedom to captivity and back again, via an insane asylum, a prison and a magpie’s nest.
And ultimately, it is the story of a love affair between a man and a magpie.
‘An incisive, funny and at times traumatic study of the damage done by destructive father-son relationships and the struggle to smash generational cycles’ Evening Standard
‘A personal reckoning which is simultaneously brutal and joyous. I was entranced’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘A beautiful book – it made me cry’ Simon Amstell