"But what came to him most clearly was how the map in his own head, which he had tested and found accurate, might be related to the one the birds carried in theirs, which allowed them to find their way - by landmarks, was it? - halfway across the world."
Like birds that grow up in their bird sanctuary and migrate away, so the war adventures of Jim and Ashley take them far away from Imogen and ordinary life at the bird sanctuary. Malouf's description of war is completely unforgettable. Charlie's death in particular is so gut-wrenchingly realised that hours after completing the book I found myself thinking about it.
For me the novel draws strong parallels between the life of birds and men in a beautifully descriptive fashion. It is hard to believe that such a thin volume is so rich. A gorgeous symphony of words that tugs at the emotions, this is an amazing piece of work. 5 out of 5 this novel takes flight.