Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Liar Bird

Liar Bird by Lisa Walker
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Dec 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-author
Read from August 24 to 26, 2012 — I own a copy

Liar Bird is a quirky, romantic comedy and an engaging debut for Australian author, Lisa Walker.
The first rule of public relations is 'do what it it takes (but don't get caught)'. Cassandra Daley takes the fall when a journalist exposes the truth behind one of her more creative PR campaigns and is exiled to the tiny country town of Beechville. Organising a press conference in the CWA hall to raise awareness of feral pigs is a far cry from a gala perfume launch in an exclusive Sydney Art Gallery, especially when Ranger Mac seems determined to see her fail, but with a little bit of spin maybe everything will turn out alright after all.

Written in the first person, Cassie's eccentricities, which include consulting Alice in Wonderland for advice and conversing with a green tree frog that lives in her toilet bowl, are delightful despite being a little strange. Cassandra's overinflated ego takes a bit of a battering in Beechville, especially when the local ranger Mac goes out of his way to be unhelpful, but as Cassie's 'city girl' veneer dissolves she becomes a likeable protagonist and I was charmed by her growing self awareness. She shows some smarts and grit by facing the challenges of her new role head on and also demonstrates a willingness to both admit her mistakes and learn from them. Walker plays on 'the fish out of water' scenario as Cassie encounters a rare mouse on the run, a Blue Tongue lizard mistaken for a Taipan snake and wild roosters amongst other native fauna and flora, all in situations that will make you smile.

Beechville is populated by a handful of amusing characters including a bashful admin assistant, an absent eco warrior boss and a pub owner who pits his military training against the cane toads invading northern NSW. Mac is the Wildlife Ranger who, despite his scruffy look and surly attitude, Cassie is inexplicably drawn to. Though the ups and downs of the relationship is a bit of a stretch, it plays nicely into the secret that is at the heart of the novel's plot.

Distinctly Australian with references to Chiko Rolls, swooping magpies, The Chaser, Wolf Creek and a host of music hits, including You're the Voice (John Farnham) and Love is in the Air (Paul Young), the title is actually a play on the name of a native bird - the Lyre Bird. I enjoyed Liar Bird for its wit, warmth and quirky spirit and look forward to reading more by Lisa Walker in the future.
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