Catalina, the grand-daughter of Spanish refugees is a disciplined student with the School of the Paris Opera Ballet. Little gets inthe way of her career until the visit of an otherworldly being, who leaves her a mysterious pair of golden earrings.
Given a quest, Catalina realises she must explore her own Spanish heritage and makes the connection between the visitor and ‘La Rusa’, a young Andalusian flamenco star.
La Rusa died in exile in Paris in 1952, her death ruled as suicide. But as Catalina begins to discover, there were those in the Spanish émigré community, amongst them her grandmother, who had good reason for wanting La Rusa dead.
©2011 Belinda Alexandra (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I loved this story and was so sorry when it finished. Belinda Alexandra is a fabulous story teller and this is yet another of wonderful story. This time set in Spain and Paris which is quite different to her previous novels. I did not know much about the Spanish civil war or Spanish culture and I found this fascinating. It was well researched. The characters are varied and complex. I am hoping that there will be many more novels written by this author.
I kept with this book, even though the first half bored me. I normally love Caroline Lee as a narrator, but she kept falling out of the accent (for example, sometimes rolling her Rs, sometimes not, in the same sentence). That, along with too much emphasis on describing ladies' dresses and such, made the book seem shallow for quite some time. Halfway through, the plot began to thicken and I began to feel a bit more empathy for the characters. A good listen, if you can make it to that point.
Yes, I would because it is a good story about a time and place in history few of my friends know little about. I loved how we get carried into te history of the Spanish civil war in all its grusomeness.
The author's formidable knowledge of history, and her ability to tell it in an interesting way. I also loved her way of describing the family relations, and I loved how all the little mysteries all comes together in the end.
I like that she manages to keep the story interesting!
La Rusa! She is an interesting woman with an interesting history, and maybe she could have finished off the meal with a little dance?
Audible is my "can't live without". I enjoy the other readers recommendations. Keep them coming!
It read like a book on two different subjects and I didn't find either one interesting.
I wish I had read instead of listening. The painfully bad Spanish pronunciation, especially of the names of some primary characters, was a constant irritant to the listening experience.
Rich and interesting story that unfolds beautifully.
Not if she had to pronounce Spanish words!
I really loved to listen to this book. The story, the narrator, the characters… really awesome and magical BUT… half of the bodies, half of the halos, half of the neverending loves, half of the superhuman talents and half of [whatever] would have done the story good. Some of the cruel death scenarios even made me laugh towards the end. That was just too much in my opionion.
Anyway, the book is really worth the time and a great listen! I warmly recommend it to lovers of long stories.
More about the narration. Many of the passages in the book shift between the three main characters. Bolinda Audio has many talented female narrators (Caroline Lee, Kate Hood, Deirdre Rubenstein, and others), so it would have been a better listening experience having the points of view shift between multiple narrators.
Caroline Lee is normally a good narrator, but her accents and dialogue in this book are not up to par. As both a French- and Spanish-speaker, I am a stickler about pronunciation. This book has so much potential, but a better narration would have gone a long way.
Definitely... a historical drama, with the riots and the dancing... it would make an amazing movie.
I will read this one in print, and listen to Caroline Lee's other performances with greater caution.
Very high....I couldn't put this down at some points. There was a surprise around every corner.
I like the history and location of the story. I have visited Florence and knew the places mentioned in the story.
Caroline Lee is always an exceptional reader.
Amazing story. Well researched, well written and keeps your attention the entire time. I want more!
Rght up there . Very long but really good.
The twist near the end,I didnt see coming though in hindsight it was staring at me.
Little bit hard to keep up with the numerous characters and which era you are in but worth persevering.
Yes but only after some time has elapsed and I've forgotten some of the finer details.
La Rusa, I liked her strength and loyalty and found the chapters revolving round her some of my favourite parts of the book.
There's too many to pick a favourite and don't want to give anything away to spoil it for others.
Again there were quite a few, I particularly liked how some of the characters dealt with some really awful experiences but managed to stay hopeful and brave.
This is my second Belinda Alexander book, the first book being 'Tuscan Rose' which I found a very enjoyable read (unfortunately this is no longer available onAudible, which is a shame). I was not disappointed with this book either, I found it on level with the first and they both now rank as two of my favourite audio books, and I have listened to many. This book is set in two periods of time, Barcelona in the earlier part of the 20th century, telling a story which spanned over many years, and Paris in the 1970's. It was both sad and uplifting at times but also kept me hooked all the way through, I was always looking forward to my next listen to see how the story was going to unfold.
"The cost to families of Spanish civil war"
One of several novels stimulated by Spain's apology in 2007, the survival of traditional Spanish music and dance being part of gypsy culture which was targeted by Franco. Linked to tradional ballet in Paris. Real characters stunning story with ghostly associations
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