Jake lives alone, purposefully, on a sheep farm on a remote British island with her dog called Dog. Something, or someone, is brutally killing her sheep. She’s running from something, or someone, in her past, and doesn’t know if the two are connected. All the Birds, Singing is the story of Jake’s life, and what led her to where she is now.
The structure of this book is really interesting. The chapters alternate between the present moving forward, and the past moving backwards. It means Jake can never outrun her past, as it continues to catch up with her, and where she ends up (whether good or bad) is literally right next to where she started.
I was unsure of the ending of the present-future strand, but it didn’t take anything away from the book as a whole. It has an incredible tense atmosphere, and a quiet but purposeful momentum. I wasn’t expecting the final revelation about her past, and it made the narrative structure make all the more sense as Jake can never run from herself (or the other things it led to).
A quiet book with plenty of slow tension. Perfect for a windswept, wintery day.