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Birds in Tiny Cages by Barbara Comyns

Birds in Tiny Cages (1964)

by Barbara Comyns

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This is a light and enjoyable read; it lacks the magical and dark feeling that is found in some of Comyns' novels. Nor is our lead character particularly kooky - unlike many of her creations. I loved her portraits of 1950s Barcelona:
'Light streamed out of the unshuttered windows onto the neglected garden below, fringed mimosa leaves faintly caught the light, and oranges and lemons glowed against dark leaves so that they resembled one of the Douanier Rousseau's forests. A startled white cat, with its tail held high, ran away into the night.'

A story of a marriage going through a difficult time with a scenic backdrop. ( )
1 vote starbox | Nov 9, 2012 |
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Every morning pink and blue pigeons were perched on the parapet of the building with "20th Century Fox" written on it.
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The youngest of four devoted sisters, Flora is lonely when ill health forces her and her husband Leo into exile in Barcelona. Her life in their stuffy 'atico' flat is dominated by the window and the happenings on the rooftops around it: children playing amongst women hanging up perpetual laundry; old ladies asleep in rocking chairs, hens in boxes, cats, potted plants and birds in tiny cages. Flora is delighted when she meets the English painter who shares a studio opposite their apartment, and she is amused by his sculptor friend Parker, whose bright blue eyes and high complexion remind her of a toy sailor. She feels something at once repellent and attractive in his manner, and is surprised to find herself agreeing to visit his studio.
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