Love is the central force in Birdie, a collection of sixteen historical and out-of-time flash fictions that sing with the voices of women loving and losing and learning. The characters here find strength, despite the sorrows of death and deceit: a ghost-child returns to Massachusetts to comfort her grieving mother; the daughter of a Spanish orange tycoon regrets her mother's terrible choices; an English maid longs for, but can't be with, her mistress's son. Birdie contains Nuala O'Connor's signature ekphrastic work, drawing on artists as diverse as Matisse, da Vinci, and American painter Edwin Romanzo Elmer.
The natural world looms large too: sheep and foxes roam these pages, as much as seawater washes through them. Described by the Toronto Star as a writer of 'magical imagination' and by the Washington Post as 'soaring', O'Connor's collection of historical flash will delight her readers, old and new.