I curled up under my shawl, listened to the alien sounds of the bush and wondered how I’d ended up here, miles from my natural habitat. Headphones in my ears to block out the noise, I finally fell asleep to someone singing about a bus to Bondi.
Some hours later I woke up with a start – sweating. It was the dream, the one I’d had every night since it happened – a large and menacing long-footed potoroo lurked outside my window. It opened its mouth in a sinister smile, showing long, sharp teeth. Where to now, Cassandra? it said.
Cassandra Daley is a PR expert who will do whatever it takes to help her clients – even if she has to resort to a few dirty tricks. But when her fibs are found out, she is left disgraced, and has to look for a new job. A job in the country could be just the thing. But Beechville is pretty hard to get used to – there are frogs in Cassandra’s toilet, people who love her one day and avoid her the next, and a disappearing boss. Then there’s the pretty hunky ranger who seems to have it in for her – in spite of which she finds herself increasingly attracted to him.
Cassandra finds herself connecting with the town and almost enjoying her jb – until the night she finds out the town’s secret. Suddenlys he’s back in the limelight with the press – this time in a good way – and she has to figure out just what is important to her. Is it possible she’ll always be a liar bird?
Liar Bird is a funny look at PR, conservation and city v country, with polished city-girl Cassandra gradually finding her more down to earth alter-ego Cassie as she struggles to adapt to life in a small town. Her voice is refreshing and readers will enjoy the way she talks to her resident tree frog as she recounts the story, as well as the range of characters with whom she interacts. But, while the story is chiefly funny, it also explores issues of honesty, self-identity and conservation, engaging the reader in considering these.
This is a debut novel, with Walker’s dexterity evidence her name will be seen again.
Liar Bird, by Lisa Walker
Harper Collins, 2012
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