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Little Wing, by Freya North (audiobook read by Sofia Engstrand)

1969, teenager Florence is sent away to the Scottish island of Harris to have her baby. 2005, Nell discovers a family secret and heads to Harris to find the truth.
Little Wing is an emotional book full of family drama and the nuances of family relationships and friendships.
16 year old Florence becomes pregnant after a one night stand and is sent to distant family in Harris. Whilst there, she adapts to her new life and enjoys being a mother. Nell in the present discovers that her mother who has mental health issues had a sister and suspects that she is actually Florence’s daughter instead. She travels to Harris to find out more about the past.
The emotion is vivid. The gap between the Florence and Nell timeline makes us wonder what has happened and the truth is gradually revealed. We also have the characters of Dougie and his father Gordon. Their relationship is rather strained and awkward due to the physical distance between them until Dougie returns to Harris.
I don’t know if my issues with this book are because I listened to the audio version. I found it quite confusing to have a single narrator as it wasn’t always clear when the perspective had changed, especially in the opening chapter where it frequently moves between the characters. The depth of emotion and character development was therefore a little diminished in my opinion.
Little Wing is full of emotion and drama but I felt the audio version didn’t work too well for me.

Little Wing book cover

Book blurb
Little Wing is the powerful story of two families over three generations.
1969. Florence Lawson, a 16-year-old schoolgirl who dreams of being an artist, finds herself pregnant and banished to one of the most remote parts of the UK.
1986. Dougie Munro, searching for adventure, leaves the Isle of Harris – the island of his birth – for art college and a career in London as a photographer.
2005. Nell Hartley, content with her life managing a care-in-the-community cafe in Colchester, discovers a shocking truth about her family.
Between the sprawl of London, suburban Essex, and the wild, unpredictable Outer Hebrides, three lives collide and interweave as questions are asked and secrets surface. What happened to Florence? Why is Dougie now so reluctant to return home? How can Nell make peace with the lies she’s been told?
Little Wing is a novel about resilience, forgiveness and the true meaning of family, about finding one’s place in the world and discovering how we all belong somewhere and to someone.

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