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The Birdcage

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  371 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Marcia Willett's fans have fallen in love with the English countryside and the wonderful characters that inhabit its idyllic setting. Written with shining honesty and compassion, The Birdcage has every bit of the wonder that Marcia Willett's fans have come to expect…


No one can foresee when life is about to change. For Felix Hamilton, it started with an evening
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 558)
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May 05, 2011 Carolynne rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess Chambers
Feb 09, 2011 Jess Chambers rated it it was amazing
This was the first of Marcia Willett’s novels I picked up, and also happens to be my favourite. Her warm style, vivid characters, and the way she seamlessly intertwined the past and present makes this a truly unforgettable read.

Now that both her mother, Angel, and her mother’s close friend, Pidge, are dead, the links to Lizzie’s lively and rather eccentric childhood have been severed. Yet, while sorting through some of Angel’s things, Lizzie discovers a postcard that brings the past flooding bac
Paula Dembeck
This is my first book by this author who writes in a vein similar to Maeve Binchey. I didn’t realize until I was about of the way through the book that it is part of a series of books Willett has written with recurring characters, but no matter, you can read this as a “stand alone” quite easily.

The title refers to a small home that Lizzie shares with her mother Angel an actress and Angel’s friend Pidge in Bristol. Felix is the man Angel met and had an affair with over a number of years.

Felix an
Mar 22, 2009 CLM rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, re-read, uk, series
It is interesting that Willett always returns to themes of infidelity and distrust, which she depicts as soul-destroying. I don't disagree, per se, but betrayal does seem likely to inspire distrust. Here, Willett portrays various characters caught up in romantic triangles. Marina's unreasonable suspicions and cold personality push her husband Felix into an affair with a charming and vivacious acress, Angelica Blake. During his monthly business trips to Bristol, he becomes a fixture in the home A ...more
Margo Brooks
Feb 28, 2013 Margo Brooks rated it really liked it
I started this book four times before getting into it, but I am glad I was persistent. The novel is about the aftermath of an affair, taking place 30 years after the couple broke it off. Some of the people most affected by the affair are dead by the time the book opens, but instead of being gloomy and depressing, this novel held out hope that people can reconcile, go on and be strong in the face of misunderstanding and disappointment. The action centers around Lizzie, the daughter of the "other ...more
Aug 14, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the past/present set-up and the characters. I don't necessarily understand the need for quite so much adultery in Willett's books, but I do really like the other parts of her stories. I'm also curious as to whether the author had some terrible woman in her life (mom or aunt or something), as her description of characters like Marina & Allison is just so resentful & vicious! I found myself openly hoping to not have to hear about them again and gloating along with other characters ...more
Yang Shu-yuan
Jan 31, 2010 Yang Shu-yuan rated it it was amazing
Wie ein gefangener Schmetterling, so fühlt Felix sich in seiner freudlosen Ehe, und deshalb verliebt er sich eines Tages in die lebenskluge, gütige Angel, die mit ihrer kleinen Tochter Lizzie in Bristol lebt. Die Schauspielerin schenkt Felix all die Wärme und Geborgenheit, die seine eifersüchtige Frau ihm hartnäckig verweigert. Dennoch will Felix seine Ehe nicht aufgeben, fürchtet er doch, dann seinen Sohn Piers zu verlieren. Als Piers und Lizzie sich viele Jahre später begegnen, verlieben auch ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it
I have really enjoyed this book. Not only was it a good story, it was partly set in the lovely village of Dunster! The story had several strands, moving from the 1950s to present times. Lots of characters who had depth and were credible! Marcia Willett is fast becoming a favourite author of mine.
Dreda Corlett
May 06, 2015 Dreda Corlett rated it it was ok
Easy easy read. Predictable but fairly enjoyable to read between meatier tales.
Jan 31, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read
read this? or other book by her
Leanne Hunt
Mar 25, 2012 Leanne Hunt rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
For me, this novel painted a beautiful picture of English town and country life, and the threads of the plot wove themselves together in a way that was surprising and satisfying at the same time. That something as inconsequential as an old postcard featuring an historical yarn market could reunite old friends is something we hope for in life, making this an uplifting read.
Feb 22, 2009 Dia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicklit
This was my first MArcia Willett booked and I was hooked. I love a good story and this certainly fit the bill. I was sad when the book was over because I wanted to know more about the characters. My library only had two of her books but I've bought several more and am trying to read all of her work. I enjoy her stories.
Jul 13, 2008 Annette rated it liked it
recommended by my friend Helga, this is the story of an interupted, ( the man was married ) love affair and the consequences... Female half dies and her daughter and his son find each other and fall in love... somewhat trite but the 'loss' is acknowledged and the choice made by the original couple is challenged.
Amanda Patterson
Aug 21, 2011 Amanda Patterson rated it liked it
In a nutshell, Lizzie falls in love with the son of the man who deserted her mother. This novel spans four generations of men, their Golden Labradors and their lovers. It is written in a haunting style. It is easy to read and difficult to put down.
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2006
A lovely book! Lizzie sets out to fill in some of the missing pieces of her past, in an often moving story that revolves around some delightful people. Highly recommended to anyone who likes character-driven gentle novels.
Jan 17, 2012 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: england
I read this because I had heard that Marcia Willett was similar to Maeve Binchey and Rosamond Pilcher, and yes, she does write about relationships and England, but she is an excellent author in her own right.
Aug 15, 2014 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Mum
Shelves: ex-libris
A gentle start for our reading group. I enjoyed it as it is set in and around Dunster, so I knew where the action was taking place. One complaint was that the characters were too nice! Average score: 5/10
Jina Howell-Forbes
Dec 19, 2012 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Character study plots
Recommended to Jina by: Amazon
Very interesting story that examines marital relationships in many forms. It covers over forty years, and several generations. Story takes place in England, which is a favorite location for me.
Jan 11, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: human-drama
Started out in a depressing manner, but picked up nicely after the first 75 pages or so. In the end, it didn't disappoint.
Jun 16, 2013 Rowan rated it it was ok
My personal preference is to follow one or two characters view points ... I skipped most of the rest and doubt I missed much.
Ronald and Crystal
May 31, 2013 Ronald and Crystal rated it really liked it
excellent book. The author is very descriptive and gets you right into the scene. Well done. enjoyable read.
Mar 12, 2009 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Excellent. I have already read two more by her. Great women's books. All set in England, 'english cozy's'.
LInda L
Mar 05, 2016 LInda L rated it liked it
Generation book -- pretty good, but fairly predictable. Went on a bit too long.
Jun 26, 2016 Deb rated it did not like it
Struggled to finish this, pretty mediocre - have read better Marcia Willett books.
Feb 02, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
I loved the first four fifths of this book ,then it became predictable and boring
Aug 02, 2009 Rebecca rated it did not like it
I couldn't get into this book and didn't finish it.
Jul 07, 2012 Jandblock rated it really liked it
very entertaining story of family dynamics
Jun 20, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
Nice light read.
Kim Leighton matthews
Sep 09, 2014 Kim Leighton matthews rated it it was amazing
Love it!
Zoi rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2016
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Marcia Willett began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym "Willa Marsh", and is published in more than sixteen countries.

Marcia Willett's early life was devoted to the ballet, but her dreams of becoming a ballerina end
More about Marcia Willett...

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