Funeral For an Owl, by Jane Davis

🎧 Audiobook review 🎧

The best way to avoid trouble, thinks Ayisha Emmanuelle, is to avoid confrontation. As an inner-city schoolteacher, she does a whole lot of avoidance.

14-year-old Shamayal Thomas trusts no one. Not the family, not the gang. And at school, trusting people is forbidden.

Jim Stevens teaches history. Haunted by his own, he still believes everyone can learn from the past. History doesn’t always have to repeat itself.

A powerful exploration of the ache of loss set in a landscape where broken people can heal each other.

Told from the perspectives of three people, A Funeral for an Owl begins with a high school teacher, Jim, being stabbed in the playground when attempting to break up a fight. Fellow teacher, Ayesha and 14 year old student Shemayal together save his life…the story then revolves around these characters, how their lives intertwine and how far these two teachers are willing to go to help the troubled teenager. The story jumps from the past and present from Jim’s point of view, but I actually enjoyed this aspect, it really helped me to understand the choices he made growing up and the adult he became. Despite the gritty circumstances of the story, there’s a lot of humour and warmth in this book, I laughed out loud a few times and I found myself caring for these characters. It’s honestly not an easy book to sum up, but I really enjoyed it, it’s the kind of story that stays on your mind after the final chapter. Alix Dunmore narrated this perfectly, she made it very easy to tell the characters and timelines apart.

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