“Beautifully and movingly crafted from the fragile connections between its characters’ lives. The Blackbird is a novel for our vulnerable times.” – Dr Sophie Oliver, University of Liverpool
It is 1941. Hope’s father, Jenner, builds Liverpool Cathedral while the Luftwaffe’s bombs fall. It is 2014, and Hope cares for her husband Robert as Alzheimer’s destroys his personality.
Hope’s husband Robert is a retired civic sculptor. As Alzheimer’s unravels his mind, a secret he has kept for her threatens to emerge, breaking the fragile peace she has made with her parents’ memory: the truth of what happened to her mother during the Liverpool Blitz.
“Claire Allen really nails what it’s like to Care for someone… Her descriptions throughout the book are just so perfect.” – Clare Reynolds, Years Of Reading Selfishly
Hope brings in Louise to be home-carer. A young mother, the last resident of the Blackbird Estate, harassed by her ex-partner. But now they are together, can they find a way the past can’t hurt them?
“Jealousy and blame pervade… Layered and nuanced yet never heavy.” – Jackie Law, Never Imitate
“It serves as a potent reminder that violence, in all its forms, is not restricted to working class males.” – Sarah Crewe, author of Floss
Allen tells the overlooked story of the Liverpool Blitz, but resists its glorification with the sights, sounds and smells that surround the desperate citizens.
“Claire Allen’s writing is cinematic. I could picture every character, scene and action clearly… The Blackbird is a work of art, filled with top quality print and gorgeous illustrations but also has a strong story to complement the high aesthetics.” – Robert Pisani, The Bobsphere
- Gmund Urban cement grey cover paper (embossed with concrete texture and sparkling with silica)
- Illustrated throughout by David Henningham
- Text printed in black with yellow titles and page numbers.
“Any new book from HFP is cause for a celebration. As an object it’s a book of quite outstanding beauty, like all HFP publications… Claire Allen’s prose is both plain and simple (in the very best senses), and very frequently piercing. This is a beautiful novel, generous and humane in range and depth.” – David Collard, Salvete!