Introduction to the novel ‘Birdsong’

To begin with, ‘Birdsong’ introduces Amiens, France in 1910 his business company sends him to work with Rene Azaire at his textile factory, he stays with Azaire and his family, his wife Isabelle and his two children Lisette and Gregoire, there is detail to the arrangements of how they live, the life before Isabelle and also Isabelle’s life with her struggles at home. The Novel then changes time frame to France 1916 – the middle of World War 1. He is a lieutenant in the British Army and we understand the changes the war causes and the newly found freindships between Stephen and other soldiers: Jack Firebrace, Michael Wier.

Throughout the first section of the novel we can see the changes that occur due to disruptions within relationships such as Isabelle leaving Azaire and his children, also the fear and loneliness that is present due to the onset of the war which significantly changes the attitudes and feelings not only of Stephen but also of the other men who are significant to the changes present in Stephen and how their understanding and sometimes contrast in mindset opens the mind of Stephen and he begins to remains past times with Isabelle and the challenging changes not only physically but also mentally and emotionally that have caused Stephen and Isabelle to consequently change.


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