Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Review for The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner

The Yellow Bird Sings

Published March 3, 2020 by Picador

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róża and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róża tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róża can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róża must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times. 

My Thoughts…

I cannot even imagine having to hide yourself and your young daughter from the horrors of war.    Roza is that mother, she must protect Shira with all that she has and keep her safe from what would be a horrific death if the Nazi’s found her.     As the war continues, their safety is put at risk and a decision to let Shira go with another woman to keep her safe must be made.   My heart broke, I had tears at Roza letting her daughter go but also at what Roza must now endure to keep herself safe so that she can find her way back to her daughter.  

I have read many books set during WWII.   I enjoy finding new views, new stories to learn, and new characters to feel for.   Roza and Shira are mother and daughter.   They struggle during the war together and apart, the keep the hope alive that they will find each other again, and they both manage to find a life to live after the war is over.   

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