Taylia Chatterjee has never known love, and certainly has never felt it for herself. Growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with her older sister Alyssa, their parents were both overbearing and emotionally distant, and despite idyllic summers in the Catskills, and gatherings with glamorous family friends, there is a sadness that emanates from the Chatterjee residence, a deep well of sorrow stemming from the racism of American society.
Róisín’s novel sings of building joy within sorrow and spins a gossamer reverie that clings to the consciousness ... Taylia is a frank narrator, and the novel crafts poetry from her candid observations and unadorned dialogue ... With its profound testaments to the love of found families and the courage involved in daring to open a cracked heart, Like a Bird is an unforgettable novel.
... extraordinary ... Róisín is masterly in her visceral representation of Taylia’s despair and rage, her depression and self-loathing, and her inability to be open to even small acts of kindness. Yet as weeks of her wandering in the city unfold, readers sense Taylia’s innate strength, a survival instinct at her core that enables her to find work in a bakery and a friend in Kat, its owner ... In lustrous, lyrical language, multifaceted artist Róisín has written an ode to the joy and healing power of self-love. This powerful novel is highly recommended.
... a timely epic of female friendship ... Róisín’s writing twinkles with humour and ways of being that are wholly contemporary, endearing us to Taylia ... Although the novel clocks in at almost three-hundred pages, the weave between the past and the present keeps the story alive right to the end ... a vivid account of the way memory can nurture reinvention. Taylia’s journey towards healing and self-acceptance finds timely thematic resonances, such as those in British writer-director Michaela Coel’s HBO series, I May Destroy You, and Leila Slimane’s novel, Adele, which centre female desire and reclamation. Like these, Like a Bird is a tour de force for women of colour and survivors of sexual assault.