The Cuckoo in Tree and Myth
The Cuckoo in Tree and Myth is a multi-narrative, magical realist novel about a one-hundred-year-old bird who steals human hearts. It comments on different responses to love, loss and grief. The story is woven around Maeve's efforts to get back her partner's heart—which the cuckoo has stolen, the cuckoo's desire to keep a heart filled with love and what it takes for each to let these go. It is told in past tense and from the alternating third-person perspectives of Maeve, the cuckoo and the stolen heart itself. The text also includes fictional excerpts of a field guide to cuckoos, used to build ornithological and folkloric detail. The characters' narrative arcs explore themes such as caring for loved ones with addictions, the effects of stalled grief and human influence on bird habitats.