In a post-apocalyptic city, a woman waits for her missing lover.
Fearful of a recurrence of plague (some kind of mutated avian flu?), the city of Leiodare has banned birds of all kinds, and most citizens have a phobia of them.
Anna, however, has a magical gift; her drawings can come to life – and she is compelled to draw birds.
In an emotional limbo, Anna’s path intertwines with that of the inhabitants of Leiodare, which under the surface, is a pressure-cooker waiting to explode.
This short novel has a poetic feel to it which shines beautifully against its gritty background. Objectively, in some ways the book feels like the work of a new author (the plot sometimes felt a bit awkward and uncertain, almost shoehorned into the atmosphere; and some elements felt like they should’ve been in sharper focus), but it feels like the work of a very talented new author. Aesthetically, I loved it, thus the bump up to 4 stars.
I’ll definitely seek out future work by Johnson.