How to Make a Bird by Martine Murray

How to Make a Bird by Martine Murray is another book I managed to snag while at internship. Just from the summary alone, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I gave it a shot anyways.

It’s dawn, on an empty road in the countryside. Empty, except for the girl in the long, red evening gown, standing next to a bicycle, and looking back at the home she’s about to leave. Mannie’s ready to start a new life and forget the terrible things that have happened here, but there are questions that need to be answered before she can let go. Questions about her elegant but unstable mother, her brother who’s always overshadowed her, and his friend Harry Jacob, who just might be Mannie’s boyfriend . . .And her only clue is an unfamiliar address in Melbourne, written on a scrap of paper found in her brother’s room. As she makes her journey to the city, the mystery of this vulnerable, quirky girl is revealed piece by piece in her search for a way to become whole again.

With rare sensitivity and a poetic voice that is unmistakably her own, Martine Murray tells a story about growing up and listening to your heart. – GoodReads

Overall, the book is very quiet. The writing is terrific and, in a way, kind of pretty. Murray has a talent for turning ordinary things into something beautiful. While the book gets interesting when the past and secrets are uncovered, the book is too quiet for my taste. It did not compel me to keep reading, though I did read the whole book. There was a lot more character development than plot in my opinion. Some people have no problem with that in a book, but this was not my cup of tea (for lack of a better cliche). Furthermore, for those looking for light, happy reads, be warned that How to Make a Bird is certainly not up-beat. Mannie’s tale is sad and depressing, but not to the level of a book like The Lovely Bones (which is too much for me to have handled…).

In conclusion, I think that this is a good book, but just not a good book for me. I think many people who find “quiet” books entertaining will like this one.

Rating: StarStarStar


  1. That book doesn’t sound like something I would read, it sounds fairly boring, but that could just be me. I am, however, very interested in reading The Lovely Bones. It seems interesting. I’m reading The Bell Jar at the moment and it’s really good.

  2. I probably would like that book as I am fond of character development. But, the Lovely Bones was definitely not my cup of tea. After the rape scene, I stopped reading. The line “I was the mortar, he was the pestle” really stuck with me in a horrible sort of way.

    @Ashley’s comment: The Bell Jar is amazing, but also frightening… especially if you find yourself identifying with the character or seeing the ‘rationality’ of her actions.

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