Separated upon arrival, despite having been promised that they would be able to stay together, they are both thrown in their own set of hardships. The older sister has to endure harrowing circumstances of child labour on a faraway farm. The younger is adopted into a loving, well-off family, but her life comes with its own kind of trauma.
The story is told alternately from both girls’ perspectives, proving once more Liza Perrat’s masterful ability to convey children’s voices from a very young age into adulthood, enabling the reader to not only see but feel them grow up as well as witness the world and people around them in vivid, palpable detail.
Hence, The Lost Blackbird was a fast and utterly absorbing read that taught me something new, as I had no knowledge of child migration from the UK to the other parts of the former British empire (or perhaps I had forgotten about it.)
On the whole, this story sucked me up into its world and still didn’t quite let me go, and certainly left me with a good feeling.