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The China Bird

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A young art student sees beauty in Edward's twisted spine, and begs him to sit for her. Dubious but flattered, Edward sheds his clothing and emerges from years of apathy. This tale of secrecy, love and eventual understanding explores our perceptions of beauty and abnormality. Chosen by book groups in the UK to be the Hookline Novel Winner in 2008.
Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Hookline Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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...'just because someone is not considered normal, should they not be beautiful?'
That is definitely a line that certainly stirs the grey matter.

This book is about a young art student who whilst quietly contemplating her new art project, she befriends an older man, Edward.

Edward leads a rather bland life.Apart from Edwards job at the library, his mother is his only other staple in his life and is rather dictatorial about it too, but this is clearly a protection strategy.Edward's body encases a t
May 28, 2013 Lynno rated it really liked it
Despite the oddly incomplete punctuation which other readers have already picked up on, I felt it flowed so beautifully, the conversations were so natural, that there was a kind of musical rhythm to them. I never struggled to follow who was speaking (as I think I read as a criticism on Amazon before I downloaded for Kindle)and I found much beauty in the characters and the story. Would have liked more of Angela's interior life though. We see Edward breaking down walls and taking flight despite ...more
Yvonne Barlow
Sep 06, 2011 Yvonne Barlow rated it it was amazing
When a young art student sees the bowed back of a retiring librarian she sees a beautiful tree and asks him to pose for her - nude! As Edwin's life opens to new experiences, we follow him as he re-evaluates all he holds dear. An unusual novel that deals with the issue of attractiveness.
Annette Morris
Apr 06, 2014 Annette Morris rated it it was amazing
A very gentle and sensitive story about deformity, beauty, art and secrets. It follows a young and pretty art student, an older man with a deformity and the development of their relationship as he models for her. But it's definitely not a love story - the reader is given much to think about as the characters develop and we meet the other people in their lives. Our book group read it and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It generated a lot of discussion.
Rachel Johnson
Jan 14, 2016 Rachel Johnson rated it it was amazing
Very gentle love story of damaged and lonely characters which was beguiling and hard to put down. Very much enjoyed the book which was fairly uneventful in truth in terms of plot but which had a compilation of emotional and sexual themes which complimented the narrative expertly. Can't wait to discuss with the book club.
Amanda Klahn
Jan 28, 2013 Amanda Klahn rated it did not like it
I have given this one star for the potential it had to be a great short story. I very very rarely give up on books - 80% of the way through and I just didn't care what happened to the characters. Too many other books waiting to be read to waste my time on one that I dreaded picking up.
Jan 23, 2014 Jane rated it it was ok
An OK holiday read. Some of the lead roles were a little irritating at times and seemed to act out of character. The ending was a bit lame and didn't really tie up all the stories as well as it could have. Still, I suppose not back for 99p
Jul 20, 2015 Heather rated it liked it
This book started well and kept me interested but ultimately the story fizzled out and left me feeling a bit flat. Very different to my usual reads and worth the time but I wish it had run for a few more pages and finished in a more satisfying way
Aug 11, 2011 Becca rated it liked it
Was expecting a bit more: not a very satisfying ending unfortunately, some parts are a bit confusing too
Jul 30, 2013 Kym rated it liked it
A gentle read. I found myself wondering what it was all about at first, loved the story and then found the end a little lacking. In what I don't know but it's a three out of five stars from me.
Tiffany Landale
Aug 20, 2014 Tiffany Landale rated it liked it

Very engaging and easy to read, with beautiful description and attention to detail, but lacking a bit of punch in the story line.
Jan 30, 2013 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-groups
The China Bird is a beautifully written story: clean, crisp and uncomplicated. It reminded me of how much I used to enjoy reading Anita Brookner.
Keith ansted
Dec 12, 2012 Keith ansted rated it liked it
Enjoyed the main characters relationship form (Edward and Angela), but found the storyline slightly dull.
It was a reasonable read and i liked the characterisation There was potential but the story fizzled out at the end
Mar 02, 2013 Su rated it really liked it
Fomatting for KIndle however was terrible. It was a mark of how good the book was that I struggled on.
Marie rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2013
NEIL C SMITH rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2016
Catherine rated it did not like it
Jul 04, 2016
Dave King
Dave King rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2013
Lisa rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2013
Sarah rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2013
Feb 17, 2016 Karen rated it did not like it
Dull, soppy chic-lit. Not for me.
Alex rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2013
Charlotte rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2013
Lyndsey rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2012
Karen rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2015
June Seghni
June Seghni rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2012
Andie Long
Andie Long rated it liked it
Mar 01, 2013
Kelly rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2012
Joy Mcfaul-taylor
Joy Mcfaul-taylor rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2012
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