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Sketches of Parrots – Photo: Instagram via @alexandravogue

InQuire’s own fashion-head, Coco Kent, reviews the latest novel to come from British Vogue’s Editor in Chief Alexandra Shulman

It’s been three years since Shulman made her debut as an author with the release of Can We Still Be Friends?, and from what turned out to be a bestselling launch, her second serving of fiction is definitely one to add to your summer/waiting-for-exam-results reading list.

Fall into the rich, vibrant world of London’s art scene and witness what happens when two worlds collide as an Italian fashion dynasty acts to disrupt the peaceful nest of gallery owners, the Tennisons. Katherine and Rick Tennison appear to have everything: money, connections and of course, parrots. But it’s when seductive Italian siblings Antonella and Matteo Fullardi swoop in, that their world, or shall I say nest, turns to ashes as these siblings crash-land into the Tennison’s closest circles.


Praised for the great atmosphere in her previous book, Shulman hasn’t disappointed with The Parrots. Her detailing, particularly in how the characters interact in the world around them, leaves you enthralled as though she is literally painting a picture around you. Admittedly this can either turn you on or off depending on how you like your fiction. For those who like dramas that are action-packed from start to finish then you’ll find this a bit slow starting, but for those who love to really get into the characters and escape into their world, this is perfect for you.

While the descriptions really define her style as a fiction writer, Shulman’s handling of the plot is often masterful but can at times be a bit confusing. Although the depth of drama she’s injected into the storyline makes the book quite gripping, it means there’s a lot going on and a lot to keep track of, so you may end up rereading pages in shock of events that just played out. From, what on the surface, appears to be a book about home life and high society reveals the dark side of these two worlds as sex, drugs and secrets drive the storyline into chaos. So whether you’re on holiday or chilling back at home and in need of a mood-booster, The Parrots will certainly take the edge off the long wait for results day.


The Parrots by Alexandra Shulman is available to buy from 2 July 2023 and priced at £14.99. Published by Fig Tree. For more information view it’s Goodreads page here.