When I Sing, Mountains Dance
A spellbinding novel that places one family's tragedies against the uncontainable life force of the land itself.Near a village high in the Pyrenees, Domènec wanders across a ridge, fancying himself more a poet than a farmer, to "reel off his verses over on this side of the mountain." He gathers black chanterelles and attends to a troubled cow. And then storm clouds swell, full of electrifying power. Reckless, gleeful, they release their bolts of lightning, one of which strikes Domènec. He dies. The ghosts of seventeenth-century witches gather around him, taking up the chanterelles he'd harvested before going on their merry ways. So begins this novel that is as much about the mountains and the mushrooms as it is about the human dramas that unfold in their midst.
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"Solà's kaleidoscopic technique vividly evokes a landscape dense with violence and beauty. . . . The overlapping, multifaceted points of view serve to deepen and enrich the human struggles, which, far from being muted, are rendered instead more urgent, more moving by being inextricably linked to the region's natural history and its past. A masterfully written, brilliantly conceived book that combines depth and breadth superbly."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
In language at turns poetic and stark, Solà offers a fresh and mythic work that fully reckons with the beauty and savagery of a landscape. It's a fine achievement.--Publishers Weekly
"Solà's immersive and memorable novel has the deceptively simple elegance and depth of a folktale."--Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist