I throw back my tumble of black hair, roll one bare shoulder forward, then the other. The stack of bangles on each wrist shimmies and slides as my hands rise like birds in flight.
Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War, sixteen-year-old Drina yearns to dance Flamenco. When she dances, she forgets who she is. She forgets what seems to be her legacy: I am nothing. I belong nowhere. Why does her mother forbid her to dance, the very thing that makes her feel alive? She wonders about the secrets her mother holds, about the rumored life she had before Drina was born—a story that somehow still holds them both prisoner.
From the wandering Gypsy campagne to the vineyard estate of a paternal grandmother she has never known and the dance halls of Seville where Flamenco reigns, Drina fights to discover who she is and where she belongs. Not quite Gypsy, not quite Spanish, she must carve out an identity all her own and discover what it means to be a bird with the heart of a mountain
Full of mystery, loss and longing, this powerful novel brilliantly captures a young girl’s yearning and her adventurous journey to discover her true home.
About the Author
Barbara Mariconda is the author of books for readers of all ages, including The Voyage of Lucy P.
Simmons which Kirkus Reviews praised for its “dramatic and visually stunning” prose.
In writing Bird with the Heart of a Mountain it was a haunting Gypsy melody that first captured the author’s imagination, that drew her to Jerez, Spain, and into Drina’s world. She serves on the Board of Directors of Flamenco Vivo in NYC, which promotes the art of flamenco to new audiences (www.flamenco-vivo.org) and she strives to empower the next generation of young authors through her company, Empowering Writers. You can visit her online at www.barbaramariconda.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love a good historical fiction novel, but the genre can be a hit or a miss for me. The book is either incredibly interesting or quite dull. In the case with Bird with the Heart of a Mountain, it was almost a complete miss. I just didn't connect to it. There wasn't much about the story that I cared for other than a few of the characters. The heroine, though, felt flat to me. She was one of the things about the book that I connected to the least. Overall, hardly anything stood out to me about the story. It didn't work for me. *I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Spain has always had a rich and eventful past. This book highlights a horrible part of their history during the Spanish Civil War. But as it shows the bad, it also shows the color, light, and family that comes together. Drina finds herself lost, unsure where her life is taking her. She wants to dance - she needs to dance, but her mother has all but forbidden it. The story follows Drina as her life changes from gypsy girl to flamenco dancer, from orphan to part of a family, and from lost to finding herself. The book is rich in character and description. The war touches their lives in many ways, but this is not a story about the war. It is a story about a family in Spain that happens to be living during the war. I wish there had been more to the story. I wanted to see Drina's success, I wanted to see what happened next with her family, and if the war continued to follow their lives. This was a book I didn't want to see end. *I received this book in exchange for an honest review*