‘His photos are harrowing, indelible images of history saturated with everything human – love, pain, grief, violence, fear. No one can look at a Darius Hawke photo and not feel a thousand emotions.’
We absolutely adore Nina Lane; her writing is magnificent and her characters incredibly engaging. Her stories carry us away emotionally and we instantly become completely swept away with her words. Once again, this Author has written an absolutely epic love story that’s utterly romantic, exquisitely beautiful, unbearably harrowing, and thrillingly suspenseful.
‘I’m his. I’m the woman who loves everything about him, from his most excruciating pain to his greatest pleasures. I fault him nothing. I would drink his darkest secrets, no matter how poisonous.’
We first meet Nell Fairchild at eighteen years old. Despite her young age, she’s truly an old soul. Tired and weary, she’s following a path that is not of her choosing. Hiding in the shadows, expressing her truth through her art. Innocent, fearful, invisible, and lonely. We wept at her tragic childhood and despaired at her ‘clipped wings’. Whilst we understood the motive behind the overprotective behaviour of Nell’s dad, after all, she’s all he has left, we felt indignant on her behalf. She was a flower ready to bloom whilst bathed in loving sunlight. What is more poignant than the beauty of light that comes from the purity of love?! Nell is surprisingly strong and level-headed once she gathers her inner courage and fighting instinct. It’s amazing what the right person can ignite in you, that which has lied dormant waiting to come alive from a spark.
‘Darius Hawke is part of my blood, my heart, the very center of all my secret places where longings, wishes, and dreams take root.’
Darius Hawke is a complex man who seeks out danger and photographs the worst and the most heart-breaking of humanity. Nell’s father’s best friend: a traveller, a prisoner of war, and a survivor, Darius has seen Nell grow up but is not prepared for the adult Nell when he returns four years later. We fell in love with Darius’s character. A beautiful soul, a brave soul, and a loving soul. He stole our hearts. He fought so hard for what he thought was right when it came to Nell, but the heart wants what it wants and who can deny that which the heart beats for?!
“You,” I whisper, “are every yes I’ve ever had. All the yeses I’ve kept locked inside me, waiting for the moment I could give them to you. Waiting for now.”
The way in which Nina Lane wrote this convincing love story between Nell and Darius, who had a twenty-ish years age gap, is quite simply unique. It could have gone completely pear-shaped and feel somewhat icky. But in no way, shape or form did we feel uncomfortable -rather- we wholeheartedly felt and experienced the love between two kindred spirits, two hearts and two souls meant to be as one. It was a stunning yet arduous journey!
‘…how will he ever know any light if he keeps going back endlessly into the dark?’
We always worry about trilogies, more often than not we feel it could have been two books, that dreaded ‘filler book’ syndrome, however, not so in this case. Whilst ‘Sparrow and Hawke’ slowly and quietly introduces us to the characters, offering up snapshots of Nell and Darius’s past lives and their somewhat ‘taboo’ love affair, it also sets the scene for what’s to come in ‘Feather and Flame’. The pace and story literally explode in ‘Feather and Flame’ and we felt deeply affected for so many reasons. You’ll know what we mean when you read it, or if you have already. In fact, it felt so realistic our hearts broke and our eyes shed copious tears. As for ‘Wishes and Wings’, well…this book packed quite the angsty, heart-breaking, and emotional punch. What we loved about this trilogy is how we felt a part of Nell and Darius’s lives, individually as well as together. Through tragedy, hardship, love, war, and finally peace. We walked alongside them, through thick and thin as we explored their past which ultimately shaped their ‘today’. We wept, laughed, swooned, and loved. We experienced heartbreak, pain, love, as well as true happiness. This series must be read in order as it spans years and has a continuing storyline. We were completely riveted by the stunning EPIC Birdsong trilogy beautifully penned by Nina Lane. She really is a magnificent storyteller!
‘Sometimes courage comes from fear of what might have been…’