Saturday, August 22, 2015

Golden Earrings - Belinda Alexandra

Golden Earrings
Belinda Alexandra
Gallery Books, Aug 18 2015, $16.00
ISBN: 9781476790336

In 1975 France, estranged from her father Paloma lives with her Spanish grandmother Evelina while matriculating at the Paris Opera Ballet School.  Paloma stays focused on her goal until she fails to gain a ballet spot due to her anger at a bias selectee hurting her audition.  When she receives golden earrings that remind her of her ignored heritage in Spain, Paloma begins to search her Spanish roots before the ascendancy of the recently deceased Franco.

Her efforts lead to fascinating la Rusa; who in the 1930s was considered one of the greatest flamenco dancers ever; but at the top of her fame committed suicide.  To her shock, Paloma finds several people including her secretive grandmother rejoiced when la Rusa killed herself after being accused of betraying affluent Evelina and her family.  Hoping the truth will set her free, the more Paloma learns the more astonished she becomes; while obsessing over what really happened decades ago that impact her today.

This exciting epic historical focuses on Spain just before and during the 1930s Civil War and 1970s Paris (though there are other eras like 1909 Barcelona).  Ironically though Paloma and Evelina are ostensibly the stars, la Rusa owns the entertaining storyline past and even years after her death in the 1975 present.  The storyline starts slowly to enable readers to meet the players; once in first gear, the mystery and Spain’s mid twentieth century history make for an insightful engaging drama.

Harriet Klausner

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