• Lilac Mills

Odd Bird by Lee Farnsworth


Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.

Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.

But will he make the right choice?

Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds.

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I simply loved this book – it was a like a cross between BBC’s Springwatch and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It’s quirky, original and refreshing, and yes, birds do come into it but as far as I am concerned this only added to my enjoyment. I learnt something, and I love stories that allow me to do that.

Told from Simon’s point of view (which is also a novelty when it comes to this genre), the main character is an intelligent nerd who is socially awkward, hasn’t had much experience with women, and has a novel and quite endearing way of relating human relationships and behaviours to the natural world he has a better understanding of. He is naïve, self-effacing and totally lacking in confidence when it comes to anything other than birds. He is endearing and eminently loveable and his friend Phil is a perfect foil in his typical bloke-ishness.

As a reader, I could see the issues Simon was facing when it came to his love-life, but the way he failed to see the issues for himself because of his innate niceness, made me want to give him a great big hug.

This could have been a typical rom-com if the protagonist was a typical male lead. But it isn’t. It’s so much more and all the better for it. Don’t expect cute cafés, bakeries, or sweet village communities. Instead, expect to be entertained by an unexpectedly fantastic protagonist with a tone and style all of his own.

Oh, and it’s funny too.

About the Author

Lee grew up on a little dairy farm in Lincolnshire alongside a cow named Stupid. When Stupid's grazing days were over, he headed to Newcastle University to study Genetics. They accidentally awarded him a PhD in molecular biology but, convinced he was going to be found out, he fled into 'industry'. After doing a load of strategic marketing, Lee kissed the corporate world goodbye to spend more time writing.

In addition to writing fiction, Lee helps business leaders to tell their story. He write speeches, make films and stuff.

Lee lives in Berkshire. He doesn't have a herd of cows, but he does have two adult children and a large collection of bird feeders. He loves nature, walking and fig rolls.

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