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 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.
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 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 so enjoy Audible...helps me get my to-do list accomplished.
As a woman of Spanish decent, I was so excited to be reading a story I thought would go more into the details of Spanish life both present and past; however, their was so much one dimensional political story telling that I was left blah and somewhat disheartened. several times I had decided not to finish the book, but the basic story was good and intriguing. I have loved the other books I have read maybe because the unrest of the characters were not so close to home. Maybe because my father's account of Franco was different. oh well I still look forward to another one of Belinda's books.
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?
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.
Life Love Dance
At the end, when Paloma meets La Russa and they dance together...their strength and love
I did not really enjoy it, It took me a long time to get use to her voice, found it strained,
but in the end she "pulled it off"
La Russa....I would love to watch her dance...she is the most powerful in the story!
I found the beginning slow and hard to get into, confusing between the different characters and their places in the story, Got better abot third way through the book......
I did not read the print version, but I think it would have been less distracting than the audio version for American English-, French- and European Spanish-speaking audiobook listeners.
There were several intriguing characters, but it was fulfilling to experience the story through the eyes of Catalina, the granddaughter. She began the story as an insulated, insecure 18-year-old and grew into a more self-aware and worldly young woman, without sacrificing her innate gentleness of spirit.
I usually think of Caroline Lee as an excellent narrator, but I don't think that she was the right choice for this book. Her Spanish and French pronunciations were often awkward. This factor, combined with her Australian English narration accent created discord to my American English ears. I'm sure her Aussie accent would not have been distracting to Australian listeners--that part is just a matter of perspective.
Fantastic characters who share their emotion and growth with you. You are frustrated when they are angry, you are sad when they are remorseful. I wanted to stay in the present at first in the world of competitive ballet in Paris in the 70s, but as the story line develops and the mysteries draw you in, I wanted to stay in the Spanish civil war story. I had been wary of this since there weren't a lot of reviews although this is not a brand new audiobook. However, this gamble payed off. I could hardly stop listening. Even plugging in with my eyes closed for a few more minutes at night before falling asleep. Great ties between family generations portraying the love and both the misunderstanding and understandings across generations.
The story is seen and told from 3 different angles and perspectives - none is 100% correct, but together they unfold an amazingly fascinating tale that winds it's way through a very interesting part of history.
Paloma is an accomplished young woman who is seeking her own identity in a world she doesn't understand, with a background and heredity that was unknown and slowly being revealed. In order to accomplish her potential as a premier dancer she needs to reveal who she truly is, and then use her hidden talents.
Gaspar - His perspective on the events would have been great!
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
"Loved this book"
Great story, narrated fabulously. Had me , stomping my feet and clicking my castanets and swishing my skirts. First listen from this author, thoroughly enjoyed, will look for another.
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