I have a goal (more like a dream!) to finish reading all the Top 100 Books of the Last 100 Years. This is now my 32nd. So here goes! (Warning: May contain spoilers.)
When I started reading Birdsong I was immdiately hooked. It is a beautifully written love story about Captain Stephen Wrayford, a British soldier who fought in the 1st World War, and about Elizabeth his granddaughter 60 years later. It is written in an episodic structure which alternates between the past and the present and leaves the reader clues as to what happened to Captain Wrayford to be revealed only at the end where both past and present meet. It's also a novel about Elizabeth's going back to her roots in the hopes of finding her identity and that of her child.
"Where there is real love between people, as there was between all of us, then the details don't matter. Love is more important than the flesh and blood facts of who gave birth to whom."
There are also many references to birds throughout the novel. But I particularly liked the ending:
"In the tree above him they disturbed a roosting crow, which erupted from the branches with an explosive bang of its wings, then rose up above him towards the sky, it harsh ambiguous call coming back in long, grating waves towards the earth, to be heard by those still living".