Book Review: Amanda Hampson’s Lovebirds offers a tumultuous journey where not all marriages end in happily ever after


Lovebirds Elizabeth and Ray fight so hard to have a life they want; a life they both deserve. Elizabeth comes from a selfish family so when she meets Ray, her whole world changes. They fall in love and when fate intervenes, it changes the course of their marriage forever. Their love moved them to different states.

Now in her sixties, Elizabeth feels Ray needs her, and we as readers are left feeling she needs him too. So Elizabeth packs up her budgie, Eric, and along with her grandson, Zach, heads out on a road trip to find Ray. These three travelling companions find themselves in hilarious situations, not to mention creating memories together to last a life time.

Lovebirds, the novel from Amanda Hampson chugs along in the beginning. It slowly builds up momentum until eventually it’s full steam ahead for the characters. The plot transports you between the past and the present, flicking back and forth with each chapter. And, Eric the budgie, turns out to be an inspired inclusion, as he’s hilarious the entire way through.

Ultimately, the novel makes you feel compassion for both Elizabeth and Ray, and their families too. It is a reminder that not every family is perfect. And that sometimes just listening and being together can help to create special moments that will heal the past and shape the future.

Lovebirds is a great read. The words and the structure flow well, and really allow the plot and the characters the time they need to develop and grow. There are moments of laugh out loud humour, alongside plenty enveloped with warmth and bravery. Lovebirds embraces a woman who at first seems prickly, but from delving back into her youth, we find out why she is that way. I also enjoyed the way in which Elizabeth and Zach’s relationship grew and developed throughout the novel; and the way it explored different generations rekindling their love for one another.

On the face of it, Lovebirds may sound like a depressing read, but it’s actually filled with love and light. Elizabeth’s life might have more twists, turns and ups and downs than a roller coaster, but ultimately the choices she made were done for family. An insightful and enjoyable novel, with a compelling plot and cast of characters – human and budgie.



Lovebirds by Amanda Hampson is out now from Penguin Australia. Grab yourself a copy from Booktopia HERE.