I just finished this book- or should I say: I just devoured this book.
Emily XR Pan masterfully created a story in which it is unclear if magic or mental illness is at play. The teenaged protagonist must cope with the loss of her mother to suicide after a long and painful battle with depression. She is convinced her mother has taken the form of a red bird who is trying to tell her something. Her search takes her to Taiwan to learn about her mother’s heritage.
While in Taiwan strange and wonderful things begin happening all around Leigh. While it seems as though she may be coming unhinged there are some tantalizing physical clues that argue she is not.
Of course, there is a love story woven throughout the book, but it has its own magic and is not an afterthought.
Leigh is beautifully developed and has her own teenaged complexities. You find yourself rooting for her very early in the story.
I will warn that the book speaks very frankly about severe depression and suicide which could be triggering. The story is told from the point of view of a child with a parent suffering. This dynamic was very interesting.
I got my copy on Kindle