But Crow Girl is different from both of these. There is the startling idea that crows could have compassion on a little girl. In 1 Kings 17:4, ravens brought food to Elijah, though, so perhaps the idea is not so startling, afterall. It seems that Crows also featured in Celtic myths as oracles, ableto provide portents of the future. So this idea of Crow Girl, it seemsto me, has rich cultural depth.
A second theme is brokenness. Welearn that the Crow Girl is the product of brokenness. There is aparticular focus on the brokenness that results from atragically-dysfunctional family. The main protagonist (other than theCrow Girl, or Einin ) is Liam Collins, also broken, who is a widower inthe twilight of his life after being forced into retirement. Heaccidentally wounds her, and develops a relationship with her in thehospital. She is like a wild thing and almost impossible to treat, buthe gradually tames her and she begins to trust him.
This is a richtale, with real depth of human emotions. There is some dry humor asEinin's caretakers try to teach her about bathing and underpants. Butthere is a sense of loss, of the strangeness of the bond between Eininand her crow friends, and finally, of redemption.
I enjoyed the bookvery much and would recommend it to an adult audience. There is somesalty language by some of the adults that would never be acceptable inpolite company. The dark themes of abandonment and child abuse combinewith the adult language to make this unsuitable as a YA read. But thereis much here of value and those willing to take a chance on alittle-known author will be well rewarded.