Praise for And the birds kept on singing
"A brave and admirably ambitious first novel, full of heart and emotion," Joseph O'Connor.
"Funny, insightful, immensely sad in places, nostalgic, thought-provoking and entertaining. Bourke's characterisations are masterful and I am ready to devour whatever he writes next," The TBR Pile
"Powerful, moving and has an amazing sense of realism," What Cathy Read Next
And The Birds Kept on Singing
Pregnant at seventeen, Sinéad McLoughlin does the only thing she can; she runs away from home. She will go to England and put her child up for adoption. But when she lays eyes on it for the first time, lays eyes on him, she knows she can never let him go.
Just one problem. He’s already been promised to someone else.
A tale of love and loss, remorse and redemption, And the birds kept on singing tells two stories, both about the same boy. In one Sinéad keeps her son and returns home to her parents, to nineteen-eighties Ireland and life as a single mother. In the other she gives him away, to the Philliskirks, Malcolm and Margaret, knowing that they can give him the kind of life she never could.
As her son progresses through childhood and becomes a young man, Sinéad is forced to face the consequences of her decision. Did she do the right thing? Should she have kept him or given him away? And will she spend the rest of her life regretting the choices she has made?
Having spent the majority of his teens and twenties wondering just what would become of him, Simon chanced upon a hitherto unrealised ability to write.
This ability, limited as it was, compelled him to enrol as a mature student of Journalism at the University of Limerick. His dreams of super-stardom were almost immediately curtailed by a punishing, unexplained illness which took away three years of his life but perversely, enabled him to write the book you’ve just read. Those were dark, depressing years but in spite of the toll they took on him, Simon understands were it not for that illness he would never have found the wherewithal to pen this, his first, novel.
He has since returned to his studies and couples them with a weekly column for local paper, the Limerick Post. If you were to ask him to tell you which career he’d prefer; journalist or novelist, he would smirk to himself and say that it’s impossible to make it as a novelist these days. He would then smirk some more and say that journalism is a dying industry.