This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
Millie Bird is seven years old with wild red hair and matching wellies. One day her mother takes her to a department store and just walks away. Millie finds solace in the racks of large undies as she watches the many pairs of feet passing through, always hoping her mum’s gold shoes will come along soon.
Whilst hiding out in the department store Mille meets Karl, an elderly man who is running away from the life he has left. He is fed up of the nursing home, the lack of life and lustre and he misses his dead wife Evie, and all that came with life before this. The pair strike up an unlikely friendship and when they are caught out by the store manager they make a run for it.
Agatha is old, wrinkly and very grumpy. She hasn’t left her home in years, and spends her days yelling at the people in the street and counting her wrinkles. When Millie escapes from the store and lands on Agatha’s doorstep, Agatha knows deep down she must do something to try and help Millie, but how can she leave the house after all this time?
When the three of them finally join forces, they combine as an unlikely trio and set off to find Millie’s mum.
From the moment I started reading this delightful book, I really couldn’t put it down. Millie is one of the greatest child characters I have ever read; her thoughts and actions are all perfectly aligned with being a real child in an adult world. The children as a whole in this book are amazingly brought to life with Brooke Davis’s wit and sense of understanding.I fell in love with all three of the main characters; they all have a sense of abandonment about them, and they are all just trying to find out whereabouts they fit in the world and how to live. Millie’s deep thoughts about death were thought-provoking and the style used to convey her thoughts, dilemmas, misunderstandings with adults – all of it is fantastic. I really appreciated the book’s honesty, the deconstruction of adult language, how we all brush kids off when they ask us hard questions, how there isn’t always a right answer, how complicated we make life, all of it, is outstanding.
I thought the storyline was simple to follow, but the intricacies lay in the psychological parts, the human parts of each character. Why we say and do things, why we aren’t always honest, how confusing the world is. There were so many heart-wrenching moments in the book, such as Karl’s thoughts on The List of Faces No One Sees, a fantastic paragraph that says more in a few lines than I have read in some whole books.
Agatha is just that, Agatha. She is brash, honest, seems crazy, but deep down she is just a little lost. I could certainly empathise with her on many levels, but her best moments, for me, were when she dealt with hostile situations, her stony face a force to be reckoned with. I adored her.
The humour Brooke Davis uses to carry the whole book is wonderful. It keeps the dark times light in a way that is hard for any writer to achieve. I loved how real and human everyone and everything was – this book pulls no punches and gives with all its heart. I am also pleased to say that this is Brooke’s debut novel, which means she will hopefully have plenty more to come. I wait with baited breath!
This book is a life-changing read, I really want to read it again. It made me stop and think, it made me laugh out loud and it even made me cry. This is probably the best book I have read so far in 2015. If you loved Milo Moon then you will adore Millie Bird. This is a must read!