Jane’s whole world is overturned at her eighteenth birthday party. She flees from home, disorientated, and finds refuge with Christopher, a stained-glass artist more than forty years her senior who is working on a Resurrection window. As the window takes shape, Jane tries to rebuild her own life, examining the beliefs of all those she meets – chaotic cosy Isobel, whose motherly exterior conceals a girlhood tragedy; wealthy, tormented Adrian, who uses his private chapel as a leisure-centre and sees God as Chairman of the Board; Hadley, who believes in melting down stained class to make soup for London’s tramps; Christopher himself, selfish and charismatic, the promiscuous philosopher whose art is his religion, and who regards sex as a ‘taste of the immortal’.
To escape her own confusion, Jane travels to Chartres, where, surrounded by the glory of thirteenth-centry glass, she has an extraordinary experience which leads on to her ‘rebirth’ back at home, and to another, longer journey in search of her true self.
In this powerful new novel, Perriam examines adult values through the eyes of a young girl, who comes to realise the necessity of lying in a world built on deception, where violence is a fact of life, and sex is far removed from both the romance of Hollywood and the frisky coupling of the sex-manuals.
Bird Inside is a novel as brilliant, as inspiring, as the stained glass which forms its subject. Whilst investigating the themes of darkness and enlightenment, it is still as humorous and sensual as Wendy Perriam’s readers have come to expect.
‘A magnificently orchestrated orgy in which her potent blend of sex, religion and humour takes the reader on a spiritual odyssey from the sold rocks of safety to the wilder shores of fantasy.’ Time Out