Born of two world's and living in the middle of the Spanish Civil War all Drina wants to do is dance. Raised by her mother, a gypsy, traveling and reading palms and tarot cards Drina doesn't understand why she cannot simply do what she loves. What she feels in her soul she was born to do. All she knows about her father is that he is an outsider to the clan and that he was a dancer. As the war wages on Drina's life continually changes. Taking her from home to home on a journey of discovery and love and the affects of war on the soul.
Usually I try to reveal as little of the story as possible in my synopsis and reviews. I hate when people spoil a book or movie for me so I want to extend the same courtesy. But this book deals with the subject of Rape and so I want to make readers aware of that before they pick it up on my recommendation. Being a survivor of rape myself I know that this can be very triggering.
I also usually wait to write my reviews until after I read the entire book but because Bird with the Heart of a Mountain triggered such an emotional response in me in some scenes I decided to share what I was feeling as I read, because that is the real point of books is it not? To get people to think, and feel and talk to one another about what the book means to them.
When the Drina finds her mother, Nagja, in their tent after being raped she is enraged. She is sick. She wants revenge. She looks at her mother and "The sight steals ,my breath from me, because although I know she's alive-her chest rises and falls, her fingers twitch- the zest, the spirit that was Nadja must have trickled from her when that animal of a man spilled his seed inside her." I feel Barbra Mariconda describes the aftermath of rape perfectly. Afterwards your spirit is gone. You feel empty, and broken. And if it happens repeatedly a little bit of your spirit is taken away from you until you feel like you are a shell of who you used to be.
As hard as it is for a survivor to be a shell of their former selves it is extremely difficult for those closest to them to watch as their loved one disappears. This is what Dria faces. She is disappering from her mothers eyes and she would do anything to bring her back into being and to be noticed once again.
Ok so I'll save the rest of my review for when I finish the book. I just needed to express this. If I have gone through it maybe one of you has gone through it as well and if so I want to reach out a hand of support. It does pass. The pain does lesson. You do learn to move on and forgive and find love. You never have to let it define you.
Upon finishing Bird With the Heart of a Mountain I simply sat and let myself be with the book for a while. I don't do this with every book but this novel gave me pause.
Bird With the Heart of a Mountain is a novel that I may never have picked up and read had I not recieved a copy from Netgalley in exchange for review. The Spanish War is not my usual area of interest. Barbra Mariconda tells Drina's beautiful, and at times harrowing tale, weaving it through the Spanish War. You are always aware of the danger Drina is in because of the war and yet at the same time the War blends easily into the background. You focus so much on Drina and her dance through life that everything fades away except what's happening to her right then.
Although many readers may never face or fully understand the horrors of war Drina was living with as both a half gypsy and a woman at this point in time the lessons and life journey Drina faces is one that will resonate in everyone.
We all know how it feels to want to make our parents proud, but wanting to follow our heart as well. We have all watched people slip away from us, left helpless to do anything about it as much as you might like. We all know the pain and awkwardness of growing up and trying to find where we belong. To want to do what is right but not always know how. In this way anyone who reads Bird With the Heart of a Mountain will feel a connection to Drina that is unshakable.