Wednesday 25 February 2015

Nightbird, Alice Hoffman

Pages: 208
Publisher: S&S
Release Date: 26th February 2015
Edition: UK e-proof, NetGalley review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Aquamarine, Indigo, Green Angel, Green Witch, The Red Garden, The Dove Keepers, The Museum of Extraordinary Things and lots more

Twig lives in a remote area of town with her mysterious brother and her mother, baker of irresistible pies. A new girl in town might just be Twig’s first true friend, and an ally in vanquishing an ancient family curse. A spellbinding tale of modern folklore set in the Berkshires, where rumours of a winger beast draw in as much tourism as the town’s famed apple orchards.

A dangerous secret, a town monster and a family curse, Nightbird has it all.

Alive Hoffman has a gorgeous writing style. I read Green Angel by her many, many years ago and the thing that lingers most is the magical lyricism of her prose and that’s what I’ll most likely remember Nightbird for as well. The gorgeous Massachusetts town of Sidwell is brought vividly to life with the Gossip Group collecting at the General Store every day, the horror of graffiti (even though it’s promoting environmental issues) and the secret world of the orchard and woods that Twig’s house backs onto paint a lovely picture of small town American life. I want to live there. But Hoffman also gives us a bittersweet picture of Twig.

Our heroine is tall, clever and a tree-climbing genius. But the family secret she must keep hidden from the rest of Sidwell means that she has no friends and is virtually invisible. Her longing for friendship and a life without secrets makes you ache along with her, it’s beautiful and sad and makes her friendship with Julia, her new next door neighbour, even more poignant. Her fears of Julia finding out that she’s not very cool and abandoning her for someone else was so sad and it kind of explained Twig’s connection with the orchard and nature; they could never desert her or tell her secrets.

The threat of Sidwell’s monster, a major tourist attraction for the town, spirals to epic proportions once the monster starts to raise issues with the town in an unconventional way. So naturally, during  a long, hot summer, Twig and Julia vow to uncover the identity of the monster and break the Fowler family curse while becoming the very best of friends. It’s the summer of twelve-year-olds that we dream of now: endless bike rides, swimming in lakes, solving mysteries and baking your mum’s famous pies.

Nightbird is a beautiful tale of friendship, magic, acceptance and home and I loved every page of it. Gorgeous!

Thanks to S&S and NetGalley for the review copy!



  1. Sounds like a great read, definitely going to give it a go! I've nominated you for the 'Versatile Blogger Award', head over to my blog for further details. (Post will be up ASAP)

  2. This is a middle grade level book, but I definitely believe adults and teens can enjoy it too. After all, I'm in my 20s and I loved it. I recommend it to fans of books such as Matilda, or anyone who wants a little more magic in their reading list. This was my first reading experience by Hoffman (despite the fact that I know I own at least two other titles), but it definitely will not be my last.

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