Monday, September 28, 2020

The Yellow Bird Sings; Jennifer Rosner

 

The Yellow Bird Sings; Jennifer Rosner
Macmillan Audio - 2020

World War II, Poland -- Roza is a young mother who is forced to hide along with her gifted, 5 year old daughter Shira, a musical prodigy. Mother and daughter are given shelter by a farm family where they are hidden away in a hayloft as Nazis round up Jews in the area.  The beautiful child is forbidden from making a sound and Roza expected to pay for their safety with sexual favors. Never giving up, Roza creates games for Shira with images of a little girl. There is a secret magic garden and a yellow bird with a beautiful voice, beautiful flowers and other imagery to help distract Shira from the fear and commotion all around.

When things become too dangerous, mother and child are forced to separate and the story takes a darker turn but, the two never give up their dream of reconnecting. Will they ever see each other again?

I loved how Roza, even faced with guilt and shame, never fails to protect her young child. There is a lot of imagery and symbolism, some is painful but, the beautiful images are the ones that stand out.  Although the beginning seemed a little repetitive, once the story got going, I was pleased. I needed something a bit different from my normal reads and, this wartime story was very satisfying. The bond between the two characters was so well portrayed. The audio was read by Anna Koval who did a nice job.

Rating - 4/5 stars

25 comments:

  1. Maybe WWII books are so important now is the sense of unease we feel at present. We need to see the courage, even in fiction, of people who do their best in uncertain and dangerous situations. Beautiful cover, too.

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    1. That is an excellent point! I tend to be drawn toward darker fiction.

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  2. Roza sounds like a good Mom and the story sounds really interesting!

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  3. A mother giving up almost everything to protect her child seems pretty accurate. Glad you liked this one.

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  4. I just finished up a beautiful audiobook that delves into American history and some magical elements - it was immensely sad, but I'm in need of another audiobook with the raw emotions I experienced through Sing, Unburied, Sing, so I will definitely check this out.

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  5. I love the imagery of a yellow bird singing when the girl is denied the same ability to make happy or sad noise. Interesting cover, too. I find it hard to handle many Nazi era books or films. Schindler's List and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tore my heart out.

    You listened to it and I read books-- wonder how both ways compare. I'm wondering.., if they can't make a sound is there still a lot of dialogue, or then the narrator is telling the story about them I guess.

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    1. Yes, Rita the narrator is telling their story. I've long avoided WWII books (my book group tens to pick them now and then though). The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - book and movie were so sad,

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  6. This sounds really good, Diane. I'm not sure that I'm up for another dark WWII story at the moment, but it's going on the TBR list for when I'm ready for it.

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    1. Yes Sam, I can only read one WWII story every now and a while. Although I admit to being drawn to sadder stories.

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I don't think it's a book I want to read.

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  8. I have been avoiding WWII novels lately. It seemed every book I read with my book group was set in that time. I became a bit fatigued. This one sounds like something I might enjoy. Thanks!

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  9. So many good books still coming out of the WWII era. Looks like a good one.

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    1. I don't read many WWII books but, every once in a while I get the urge.

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  10. This was one of my favorites of the year so far which I think is notable because of the subject.

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    1. Glad you loved it Mary. I think I heard about this from you.

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  11. I love the idea of this story. Thanks for your review.

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  12. I have read a lot of WWII novels and am looking forward to this one! It's on my shelf, on loan from a neighbor, but I'm still trying to focus on the RIP XV challenge, so I may wait a bit longer. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yes, I read 2 for RIP and both were just okay sadly. Hopefully, I'll find a really good one.

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  13. This has been on my wish list for a bit. Glad you liked it.

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