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Embracing your own uniqueness in “Lyrebird” by Cecelia Ahern

We all have something about us, or in us, that’s makes us different from everybody else. That’s the great paradox, isn’t it? We’re all the same in that we’re all unique in our own ways. The problem, however, is that we try and hide the part of us that makes us different. We try and cover up the parts that make us special and unique so that we become more ‘normal’ and blend in better with everyone else.

Why do we do that? Since when did we see our differences as something to be ashamed of instead something to be celebrated and admired?

This is what Cecelia Ahern focuses on in her thoughtful and deeply moving love story, Lyrebird.

She will change your life forever…

In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.

When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her.

But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings – or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free…

Ahern’s books are incredibly unique, and different from almost all other books. They are imaginative, creative and contain enough magic that makes us believe in what she’s writing. Ahern specialises in exploring and writing in depth about the littlest things that cross our minds. She can turn one small thought into a full story and that is what makes her stories stand out – they are about things we haven’t read much about.

For example, the inspiration behind Lyrebird is in fact the real-life Australian Superb Lyrebird, which is a bird famous for its ability to mimic almost any sound – from a natural noise, to an artificial one. In an attempt to attract a mate, a male Lyrebird will spread its beautiful feathers and put on a show of colour and make magnificent noises and sounds to get the attention of a female.

They are incredibly unique birds, but what happens when you take a gorgeous bird like this out of the woods and its comfort zone, and parade it around a city to show it off to others? Does it lose a piece of its magic? Does it lose a part of what makes it special? Do you frighten it into thinking it’s strange and wrong to be beautiful and special in a world where differences are repressed, and commonality rewarded?

Ahern’s Lyrebird is an enchanting story with this haunting theme, but the memorable characters and the whimsical protagonist offer up the strong message in the novel which reminds us to embrace our own uniqueness, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says about it. Even if the Lyrebird herself sometimes doesn’t see – or forgets to notice – how unique and precious she actually is, it’s important that she embraces her individuality completely.

“Sometimes you see everything so clearly and other times you can’t even see yourself, but then, isn’t that all of us?”

― Cecelia Ahern, Lyrebird

Lyrebird is a witty and charming feel-good story with a lovely romance, and despite the fact that Bo and Solomon are a couple, after experiencing Laura and Sol’s strong emotional connection, you can’t help but inevitably root for them to be together. She reminds him to stop and watch and listen to beauty that surrounds us every day, and he reminds her not to let anyone put her in a cage.

Ahern’s strong and compelling story is one that you won’t forget easily. It leaves a lasting impression that we shouldn’t settle for anything less that what makes us feel alive and loved and wanted, and reminds us that the most unique parts of us can be the parts that makes us to special to someone else.

Besides, who wants to be boring and normal? Normal is overrated.

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