Verity “sees” the days of the week in colors. Truman “sees” emotions in swirls of color. John paints with music. They are all “different”. They are all orphans. And they’re all caught in a dangerous warp of time and space.
I have narrated many genres of audiobooks, running the gamut from romance to poetry to children’s fairy tales. You’d think it would be old hat by now, but each new project brings new inspiration and new opportunities for me to grow and learn. There are new ideas to ponder, new topics to research, new vocabulary to learn, new voices to create, new . . . something. Every time. However, rarely do I find so many new “somethings” as I found with Where Bluebirds Fly by Brynn Chapman.
This book was a true joy to read. I was first intrigued by its connection to the Salem witch trials. There’s something about that time that fascinates me; trying to understand how mass hysteria can so warp a community. And as an actress, of course I’ve studied and performed in Arthur Miller’s famous play, The Crucible, which was based on the events in Salem. So, I feel I have a connection and knowledge that helped me identify with those characters back in 1692 Salem.
But once I started reading Where Bluebirds Fly, I realized there was so much more to this story. We have a paranormal/time travel twist, characters with synesthesia and Asperger’s, childhood trauma and healing, soul mates, mystical phenomena . . .
I had heard of synesthesia and Asperger’s, but have never had any direct and ongoing contact with individuals with synesthesia or Asperger’s. At least, not to my knowledge. There is still enough of a stigma to these differences that people hide them from all but their closest confidants.
Bringing voices to Ms. Chapman’s characters was a wonderful experience for me. This is one of my favorite aspects of narrating and why I gravitate toward fiction. So many different personalities, nationalities and culture. One of my biggest challenges was finding Ram’s voice. I had never had occasion to use an Indian accent and I had to do quite a bit of homework and practice. Now I have another tick to check off of my list of performance tools.
You can read Where Bluebirds Fly for the obvious plot and romance elements (which is a great story in and of itself) or you can “fall” into the story and delve into the various aspects of the characters and mystical elements; see what brought these characters to the choices they are making now, what makes them tick, and how they relate to the world (and other-world) around them.