Title: The Yellow Bird Sings
Author: Jennifer Rosner
Length: 304 pages
Synopsis: Poland, 1941. After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róża and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Róża does all she can to take care of Shira and shield her from the horrors of the outside world. They play silent games and invent their own sign language. But then the day comes when their heaven is no longer safe, and Róża must face an impossible choice: whether to keep her daughter close by her side, or give her a chance to survive by letting her go…
I enjoyed this book so much. From start to finish. It never let up. It was Thrilling, intense and completely heartfelt. I loved it. If my review seems a little vague about the plot, it’s because I’m trying to avoid spoilers for you.
The story starts with Róża and Shira hiding in a barn as they try and avoid being captured by the Nazi. With Róża having to decide to keep her daughter with her, or send her away to safety. Then following their journeys after the decision was made.
I read this book in a day. A DAY! This never happens, you all know what a slow reader I am. But I couldn’t put this book down. I just kept reading and reading. I had to know what happened to these two characters I’d come to care for. And let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. At all.
‘The Yellow Bird Sings’ was so intense from the start, with it never letting up really. Jennifer perfectly captures the fear, the brutality, the harrowing conditions and the human spirit. When Róża and Shira are hiding in the barn, Jennifer makes you feel their fear. I haven’t read a book like that in a while. The detail, like a codes they use was so clever and something I’d never thought of. Shows new sides to a very known story. Even after the barn, it’s still so intense. I just had to know how the story was going to resolve it’s self. I never knew what was coming next.
This book is packed full of fantastic characters. Róża and Shira are brilliant. There connection is so pure and loving. They are both so complex. You can really feel the damage this situation is doing to them. They also meet some fantastic characters. Miri, Chana and the Nuns. I love the relationships that are formed. The intensity of the relationships, because of the situation every character finds themselves in, is a real shining point for me in the novel.
Now, let’s talk about that ending shall we? It was perfect. Literally perfect. For a while I wanted a bigger, Hollywood story ending but upon reflection I think this was so perfect. After a page turning, intense novel there is a real simplicity to the ending. I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint. The whole novel conjures up wonderful imagery, but I can see the ending so clearly in my head. It was brilliant! Yes, I cried. I cried a lot. A good book does that to me.
I can’t help but feel this book would a perfect series for television. It’s got such a grand cinematic feel to it, with real heart.
I can’t recommend this book enough. If you love historical fiction (or just a good book in general) you really won’t want to miss this one.
Thanks to Bookbreak UK and picador for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.
Until the next review