Book Reviews

A Poignant Tale of Love, Loss, Hope, Reunion, and More


Book: Pretty Flamingo
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Author: Perry Martin
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Stavyah Vatsarah

Love. Hate. Betrayal. Romance. Horror. Hope. Separation. Reunion. Perry Martin’s debut novel Pretty Flamingo promises all of this and much more. It’s a sublime tale that oscillates primarily between two time periods and two places: the late 1960s set in Brisbane, Australia and the early 2000s largely set in California, the US. It’s a poignant story of loss and separation that does its best to address a metaphysical question we may have asked ourselves at some point of time in our lives: Is it possible that people have ever lived before?

An Emotional Ride

As a reviewer, I am pretty darn sure the book will make you laugh and cry at the same time, surprise you with its wondrous twists, and possibly ensure that you brood over questions that you might have considered way too philosophical hitherto. And even as it may cause you to shed tears – both of joy and sadness, it will plausibly touch a part of your soul that has so far been left untouched, thereby kindling a new magical spark. But does the book promise a happy end? Well, you will have to read the book to find that out!

I, nonetheless, found myself crying while reading some devastatingly sad parts of the story, shocked at the way certain events unfolded, and pleasantly surprised by the way the author ended it. It gave me what I needed – a break from the real world. I also found the plot resonating with me because I, being a Hindu, believe in the afterlife and the fact that the souls oftentimes assume a form based on the good and bad karmas accumulated over thousands and millions of births. Nevertheless, I liked the way the author decided to build the main narrative around just two characters, detailing the time they spend together, the bond they share, and the uncanny activities they indulge in.

Heavily Influenced by Music

It is also worth mentioning that the story wonderfully goes back and forth expounding the ‘forgotten’ days of the main character named David Perry and the life he is leading at present. The narrative, furthermore, is heavily influenced by music, leaving us convinced that Perry Martin, being a musician himself, does enjoy everything musical. The main part of the story, anyhow, details David’s efforts to recover lost memories from a certain period during his teens. How does he come to forget such a significant part of his life? What happens back then?

RELATED | Interview with author Perry Martin

Author Perry Martin

My Take

I strongly suggest that every avid reader give Pretty Flamingo a read, for it will take you on a tootle that you may have never taken before, the return journey being as mystical as the initial one, if not more.

Perry Martin, I ween, will emerge as an author who will be read by millions in the near future, and there is little doubting that. His is a style that resonates with readers who love simplicity, who like commonly used words being given a new meaning, and who wish to escape the real world with the sole intention of returning to it with something intriguing. So give Pretty Flamingo a read, for it will not disappoint you, and after you finish, you will find yourself positively evolved, if not wonderfully metamorphosed. 

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