“I’ve never read anything quite like Songbirds – a beautifully crafted novel that sits at the intersection of race and class.”


Just finished Songbirds by Christy Lefteri. Audio version.
This book is inspired by actual events.
This is the story of Nisha, a migrant worker from Sri Lanka who has emmigrated to Cyprus to find domestic work. She is now a widow and she has left her daughter behind in the care of her mother.
She is fortunate to be hired by a good employer named Petra who gives her a clean room to live in and treats her like part of the family. Nisha takes care of Petra’s daughter plus does the cooking, cleaning and anything else that’s needed.
Nisha has also met a man named Yiannis who makes a living by poaching songbirds. They begin to form a relationship which she knows will not sit well with her employer.

One night Nisha disappears and when Petra reports it to the police, they do not seemed interested in searching for her, and they feel that she has probably went to another country for better work. Petra and Yiannis don’t believe this because Nisha has left behind things that she would never part with.

The story then revolves around the search for Petra. As the story grows, an acquaintance becomes a suspect and some townspeople begin to help in the search for clues as to her whereabouts.
This beautify written story by the author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo captures the truth that many migrant workers face, that no one really cares what happens to them and that domestic workers are easy to come by and truly taken for granted.
At the end of the book you should make sure to read the Author’s Note which tells about the basis for the story.
Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 11th October 2021

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Richard Franco