In this heart-warming tale of female empowerment, a young woman comes to terms with the revelation that she may be able to fly.
Alison Spedding is a loner; no real friends, no boyfriend and a job in which she goes unnoticed. At thirty-two, her only passion is birdwatching.
One afternoon, high on a Scottish mountain, earnestly waiting for the rarest of sights – a white tailed eagle returning to its nest – she slips, falling silently. In shock, her fellow twitchers return to the hostel to raise the alarm, heavy with the realisation that she must be dead. What they find shocks them even more. Alison is already there, alive and unscathed…
Further similar episodes cause Alison’s grip on reality to slip, her mind spiralling towards breaking point. In her dreams she sees a huge shadow on the ground, as if there was a creature above her, a creature with huge wings…
Her infatuated colleague Jed is concerned. Can he intervene before Alison finally loses control?
This is an extraordinary novel, exploring one woman’s identity whilst posing universal questions: Who is she? Where does she belong? And must she accept her fate, or can she spread her wings and be free at last?
Hi everyone, today I have the pleasure of reviewing ‘The Woman with Wings,’ I had read another book by our author MacManus, ‘Ike and Kay’ and enjoyed it, so I was interested to see what I would make of this one. Especially because they are two completely different novels in genre and even style of prose.
This is a contemporary novel with a slight fantasy twist, and one where the woman’s story is the only story versus the love story that was the historical fiction read of ‘Ike and Kay.’
Alison survived a fall that she shouldn’t have, and there’s no explanation for it. But the thing is, what if it’s the impossible that enabled her to survive her fall off a Scottish mountainside?
Aside from this looming question, we go on this journey with Alison to see how she changes after this event, not just in questioning the event itself, but in the direction she’s taking her own life. Stuck in the humdrum of the corporate world, an enthusiastic bird watcher such as Alison finds herself questioning her place in the world.
This is the heartwarming part of the tale, Alison finding herself, questioning what she wants and dealing with the crazy antics that seem to follow her about in the forms of coworkers, bosses, and more.
I loved her spirit in this, she was a great protagonist and her journey is one I extremely enjoyed.
There’s such a hilarious feel to the antics that Alison goes through, and where once she seemed to pass easily into obscurity, she now finds herself in the spotlight with some rather ridiculously funny characters. MacManus does a great job with the dark humour in this and he never gets so ridiculous that you lose sight of Alison’s personal struggles.
One reason I didn’t rate it higher was that I felt the pacing was a bit jarring at times, it felt uneven and at times struggled with the plot becoming a little too obscure. But, I still found it a very enjoyable read, and I thought it was such a nice change of pace compared to everything else I’ve read in the past couple of months.
MacManus is a talented writer, easily able to switch genres and writing styles completely and competently.
Thank you to Endeavour Quill for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the Author
James MacManus has worked in the newspaper business for 46 years. He is currently the Managing Director of the Times Literary Supplement.
He is the author of On the Broken Shore (The Language of the Sea, UK edition), and Ocean Devil: The Life and Legend of George Hogg which was made into a film starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers
His latest book, Black Venus, is a vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval, the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems, set in nineteenth-century Paris. Duckworth will publish the UK edition of Black Venus on February 27th 2014.The UK edition follows the successful launch of the novel in the US by Thomas Dunne books of New York.
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