The Yellow Bird Sings begins in Poland, 1941. The Nazis have been rounding up and killing Jewish residents. A mother (Róza) and her five year old daughter (Shira) were able to flee and are hiding in a barn. They need to keep very quiet to not draw attention to themselves. Coming from a family of musicians and realizing her daughter has inherited a love for music, Róza tells Shira the story of a yellow bird that enables a young girl to stay quiet by singing what the girl composes in her head. This enables Shira’s imagination to soar.
When the mother and child must leave the barn, Shira is sent, with a new identity, to a convent for safety. Once separated, Shira and Róza’s stories are told and they are heartbreaking. Shira dreams of being reunited with her mother. She is given the chance to develop her musical talents and her love of the violin. But nightly visits by the Nazis threaten her safety. Róza is on her own struggling to survive by hiding in the woods and with members of the resistance. The hope of finding her daughter keeps her alive.
While this is a work of fiction, the horrors of the Holocaust destroyed and broke apart an unimaginable amount of families. The hiding of Jewish children by kind people who risked their lives happened. Names were changed. Identities were lost forever but many survived.
This moving story shows that the bond between a mother and a daughter is never ending. It is about love, sacrifice and hope. A beautiful tale told during much ugliness.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: March 3, 2020.
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