The Blackbird Singularity by Matt Wilven
Legend Press – 9781785079689
7 out of 10
The Blackbird Singularity is one of those novels that packs magic realism, issues about mental health, success, writing, grief, pregnancy, new hope and life in all of its forms into a story line that is full of action, pathos, believable characterisation and everyday situations with more than a hint of the supernatural.
Vince is a once successful writer, struggling with his second book, lithium withdrawl and missing his dead son. His partner Lydia, although also grieving their loss has to work to provide the home they both share, but they are both limping along. Vince’s life is blighted by tablets, and his delicate mental state, and although his family and friends are patient, caring, and understanding at the start of the novel, their patience starts to wear thin, as Vince spends more time communing with a Blackbird in his back garden, than caring about the imminent birth of his second child, and all of the issues that brings.
As Vince’s Lithium withdrawl develops, he gains more insight into life, and is able to finish his novel, even though his publisher has ended their contract, instead supporting the burgeoning creative talent of an over-hyped accidental zeitgeist novelist.
The ending, blends light horror, and magic realism, and a sense of new hope for the beleaguered couple, and their families. At only 34 Matt Wilven has produced a debut novel that many more established writers would be justly proud of. I await his future development with much interest.