Owl Song at Dawn- Emma Claire Sweeney


I am really pleased to be a part of the blog tour for Owl Song at Dawn- and can 0nly apologise for the late arrival of the post. I’d set a post to come live this morning and for some reason it chose a ‘pm’ slot- so I’ve had to repost!


This is a haunting read following Maeve who runs a boarding house that caters for disabled guests and their carers- even though she is now in her 80’s. Her parents ran Sea View Lodge in Morecambe and she grew up there with her disabled twin- Edie.

I have twins, one of whom has autism- so the premise of the book really called out to me and themes throughout the book really spoke volumes. The twins in the book were born at 35 weeks like mine and one had the delayed development- so this brought back many memories, some quite painful.

It dealt with how disabilities were treated in the 50’s and earlier- when disabled children could normally expect a life in care- but just what can be achieved to make their life happy and that they feel the centre of a loving family. But also how those same disabilities have a far reaching effect on all those round them. Although you love them unconditionally- the course of your life is changed forever alongside theirs. You have other worries to consider, maybe other people’s prejudices to overcome. But the rewards that come from loving someone with a disability can outweigh all the downsides- you get to see life differently and also celebrate the tiny things others can overlook.

I found the book mesmerising and the characters really well drawn. I got the sense of loss despite the overwhelming love, how tragedies were overcome and how Seaview provided a lovely safe haven for a wonderful group of people. How ordinary lives can be changed forever- but you can find a new path through.

I was really drawn in and the writing just wrapped itself around me. I really want to visit Morecambe now- to see the places described.

With many thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book- I will definitely look out for her next book.