Friday, April 30, 2021

"Tears of Amber"

Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, mistakenly thinking that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. A creative writing teacher, she has also been a ghostwriter and communications director for local political campaigns and has written several plays for local theater. The Spanish edition of her bestselling El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees) was an Audie Award winner and named novel of the year by iTunes, and the English translation by Simon Bruni and narrated by Xe Sands and Angelo Di Loreto was one of Audible’s Top 10 of 2019 and a Voice Arts Award winner. She is also the author of Peregrinos (Tears of Amber), Noche de huracán (Night of the Hurricane), and Huracán (Hurricane).

Segovia applied the Page 69 Test to Tears of Amber and reported the following:
Page 69 in Tears of Amber shows Ilse doing what she loves most: riding in the sidecar of her father’s motorcycle. That day she can tell through her father’s tense demeanor that something is very wrong, even if she doesn’t know what.

This page is an important piece of the puzzle contained within Tears of Amber. It shows Ilse’s closeness to his father. It also marks the boundary between a before and an after for Ilse’s family. We, as modern-day readers, know what’s coming, but Ilse doesn’t. Page 69 is needed to complete the whole, but the reader does need to turn the page, as it doesn’t reveal the whole.

This story captures the spirit of war, not from a military point of view, but from the common people who suffer it; not from the point of view of the allies or the usual victims of Nazism, but of other little-recognized and much less remembered victims: the Prussian population.

Tears of Amber is a novel full of endearing characters with plot and points of view that are told in tandem: two decisions, two roads, two families, two children who live in remote corners of East Prussia.

Through both families, we understand how easy it is to believe in a leader who seems to achieve everything he promises, and how “simple” it is to live a war that at first seems distant. But it is a chimera. Through children, we will see the innocence of childhood made a victim. Through a Polish young man made a slave, we will see the possibility of peace and brotherhood. In the course of this moving story inspired by true events, we will witness how the adults fall into disenchantment and comprehend the horror when they cease to be blind to the vices and cruelty of their government. More so when they realize that the war is lost, that their army has abandoned them, and that a vengeful enemy is at their heels. Sustained by little more than their hope, they will do anything to survive, even brave the uncertainty of the road ahead in the harshest winter and in the most massive human exodus in history. This is a moving story about the human experience during war, but it’s also a definite call for peace.
Visit Sofía Segovia's website.

--Marshal Zeringue