©2006 Sarah Bird; (P)2007 Recorded Books
"A story brimming with romance and visceral details of flamenco, its music and its history." (Publishers Weekly)
"Funny and beautifully structured to create anticipation and suspense, with lush moments of romance and a surprisingly sturdy backbone." (Kirkus Reviews)
Maybe because I'm a beginning flamenca, but I loved this book, word-for-word. Yes, the plot is romantic, but the real love affair is between dancers and their dance. The narrator is brilliant, channeling the eternal heartbreak of the gypsies through the losses, thwarted loves and difficult friendship of the principal character. I do not think this book would have been as good if I had read it, rather than "heard" it!
The beginning was slow, and felt like it took too long to set the up the characters, but after the intial staging, I could not stop listening to this book. I was captivated by the hypnotic way she pronounced the names, the places the flamenco. It made me want to research the dance, the places she mentioned and the history of the Gypsy. I was transported back and could hear the guitar the clicking of the shoes and the wailing of poet. I was constantly amazed at the twists and turns as the characters developed matured. I am a romantic, and this book certainly fulfilled my high expectations.
I read this book about 6-7 years ago and loved it then... But I have to say with a little extra age and the brilliant delivery of the performer, this has easily become one of my favorite books of all time. Literary preference is intensely subjective; this book resonates with me on a very personal level. I am from NM and I am also a pale, strawberry blonde in love with a culture different from my own. But all that aside, the rich story telling and the deep character development has created a novel that completely transplants me as I read or listen to it. Also, Alyssa's (performer) ability to deliver all the accents and speak the language was fantastic and seriously well executed.
I enjoyed this book. i am a native nuevomexicana and have studied flamenco off and on at the University of New Mexico. there is an enchatment about both flamenco and NM and this book captures that tie very well. the story at times was a little too dramatic for my taste, but overall it was a great book.
Reader & Listener
I don't know how much of this is the author's fault, and how much is the narrator's. I've gone back and forth on Sarah Bird (LOVED "Yakota Officer's Club", but found earlier stuff uneven), but this one won't go on my "must recommend" list. The narrator constantly tried to sound ever-so-dramatic, on the verge of tears, no matter what was happening. Sometimes it gave me a headache, sometimes it made me laugh. But mostly I gagged.
I have no idea, maybe a 12 year old girl?
Fairly good pronunciation, albeit a little over-dramatic. Oh wait, that may have been the writing.
Everything that had to do with the two main characters. That would have left the story about the Flamenco teacher, which was the more interesting thread in the book.
This made me not want to listen to Flamenco or hear Flamenco ever again.
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