Adjani Gama Dessavre
Today’s cake is about a book that takes place in the winter, yet it has a warm place in my heart: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.
I found it in my favourite bookstore in Austin: BookPeople. That place is a paradise for me. For those who do not know, at BookPeople, there are little notes with recommendations all around the book store. And that is how came to find this book. However, I do not remember when I started to read it. I think it was back home. It does not matter; What matters is that it was waiting for me to immerse into its world.
This story happens in Russia, and it is full of Russian folklore (which I did not know much about) and magic. It has a strong and incredible protagonist: Vasya, the girl that can save us all. This book has a beautiful way of transporting you to its universe. I remember feeling the cold of the snow, the whiteness, sometimes a deep melancholy and an environment full of mystery. There is magic in the story, but the most magical thing is the way it makes you feel there.
It transported me back to those days when I was a child and used to play with my friends or my cousins. We used to imagine all sort of enchanting and fantastic worlds with great mysterious stories full of fairies and wonders. This book reminded me of a feeling of magic and fantasy being hidden all around the world that we used to create while playing. It made me remember that stories live all around us.
It is a story about the power of believing in something. It is about how the power of magic comes from inside ourselves. I do not really want to say much more about the book because I think you should be the one discovering all of its little magical details. I am aware it is the first book of a trilogy, I have not read the other two yet. I will definitely do.
I recommend you read the Bear and the Nightingale in these uncertain times. As it said in the book: “Nothing changes, Vasya. Things are, or they are not. Magic is forgetting that something ever was other than as you willed it.” So maybe, this story can make us believe we can direct the world to be what we want it to be, even when things seem so unpredictable and grey. May we all find a way to remember magic is all around us, and we can create beauty and find hope.