The Yellow Bird Sings (Hardcover)
Flatiron Books, 9781250179760, 304pp.
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Other Editions of This Title:
It is wartime in German-occupied Poland. A mother hides with her five-year-old daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.
The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom. When the daisies grow abundant, the bird weaves a garland for the girl to wear on her head like a princess—though no one can see. She must hide from everyone in the village: soldiers, the farmhouse boys, the neighbors too. The lady with squinty eyes and blocky shoes just dragged a boy down the street and returned, proud and straight-backed, cradling a sack of sugar like a baby.
After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róza and her daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses inside her. To pass the time, Róza tells Shira a story: There is a little girl who, with the help of her yellow bird, tends an enchanted garden. The garden must be kept completely silent—only the bird can sing the girl’s musical compositions—and together the girl and her bird avert many threats. Thus Róza manages to soothe Shira and shield her from the horrors around them. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe and Róza must face an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side, or give her the chance to survive apart.
The Yellow Bird Sings is a beautiful, heartrending novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter, and the triumph of hope in even the darkest of times.
About the Author
Praise For The Yellow Bird Sings: A Novel…
“Music and love course through this beautiful novel, twin rivers of wonder. The Yellow Bird Sings is a powerful hymn to the resilience and determination of a mother’s love in the face of the inhuman horrors of war. Jennifer Rosner has written a book that will break your heart, and then put it back together again, a little larger than before.”
—Alex George, author of the #1 Indie Next Pick A Good American
“Room meets Schindler’s List in The Yellow Bird Sings, a beautifully written tale of mothers and daughters, war and love, the music of the living and the silence of the dead. Jennifer Rosner is a writer to watch.”
—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network
“Imagine a mother hiding in fear of her life. Then imagine she is also hiding her lively daughter whose smallest sound may betray them. With wonderful tenderness and imagination, Jennifer Rosner evokes the dangers Róza and Shira face and how, in the midst of those dangers, love and music survive. A brilliant and transporting novel.”
—Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy
“The Yellow Bird Sings is a captivating novel of the power of music, the human voice, and what we sacrifice in order to survive extraordinary circumstances. Absolutely riveting.”
—Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One Is Here Except All of Us
“In The Yellow Bird Sings, Jennifer Rosner has written an extraordinarily beautiful and moving novel of the human heart. It is a rich and poignant story of the enduring power of love and hope in the face of peril.”
—David Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women