The Reading Room- The Yellow Bird Sings

Posted March 7, 2020 by stuckint in Features, The Reading Room / 1 Comment

Welcome back to the reading room. We are especially excited about the book we are discussing today: The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner. This review is the second post in a three part series culminating in an awesome Q&A with the author. So, without further preamble, here’s our glowing thoughts on the refreshing historical fiction novel set during WWII.

About the Book

The Yellow Bird Sings is a historical fiction novel set during WWII and follow Roza and young daughter Shira, who at the start of the novel, are on the run from the Nazis after their home has been destroyed and most of their neighbors rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This incredibly moving novel spans the years during WWII and decades beyond and is the perfect addition to any historical fiction lover’s collection

Our Thoughts

I dove into this story with a lot of assumptions about the plot based solely on the provided synopsis: mother and daughter hiding in the barn of some German neighbors who begrudgingly hide them for an extended period of time. I expected this to be the setting of the entire novel, but I was surprised to see just where the story went, and pleasantly so.

What separated this book from other WWII novels for me is the major focus on Shira and Roza’s relationship and the suspense that is subsequently created around it throughout the course of the story. You might think initially that them spending a good chunk of the novel just laying in hay loft in a barn would be boring and monotonous but Rosner writes so well and with such emotion that I found myself entirely engrossed in the duo’s plight.

One of my favorite aspects of Roza and Shira’s relationship was the stories Roza tells her daughter, to keep her quite while they hide in the loft. The stories are full of magic and whimsy and contrast sharply with the heavy and bleak reality of their day to day monotony.

There is also a heavy emphasis placed on music as Shira grows and her love of music develops. The passion that Shira feels for music is so powerful and carries her though some very difficult and trying times.

The final piece that made the novel a 5 star read for me was that Rosner doesn’t feel like she has to tie everything up into a neat little bow in the final chapters. I am not going to get into a spoilers but Rosner handles the ending beautifully and ultimately asks deep questions about grief, belonging, and new beginnings.

Overall, I adored this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who adores WWII historical fiction or stories with strong mother-daughter relationships.

What About You?

Have you read this book? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

One response to “The Reading Room- The Yellow Bird Sings

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