... depicts the griefs and joys of one human family against the vibrant backdrop of the Pyrenees mountains where they live. With its crisp prose, compassionate eye, and emotional precision, Solà’s novel pays tribute to the interconnectedness of the natural world. When I Sing, Mountains Dance illustrates that when we step back to see those connections, our own lives take on greater meaning ... Solà encourages us to view the world from more than just a human perspective ... Solà invites us to settle into each perspective—and, in doing so, to feel as much sorrow for the frightened fawn skittering away from the gunshot as we do for Hilari’s death ... Solà also encourages temporal empathy by zooming in and panning out, challenging human conceptions of time ... Solà’s kaleidoscopic technique offers perspective on Sió’s grief but does not diminish it. When I Sing, Mountains Dance triumphs because Solà gives voice to many perspectives and, in doing so, infuses the human characters’ experiences with greater poignancy.
... inventive and lyrical ... By setting past and present side by side, and plunging us into human and nonhuman perspectives, Solà reveals the beauty and brutality of life in a mountain village that holds the scars of the past but also the seeds of slow repair and renewal ... Moving from the perspective of the rain clouds, the chanterelles, the bailiff, and the roe-buck, Solà moves through the story like a dance, flinging the reader from one elemental force to another ... [a] work of unexpected emotional power.
Voiced by a variety of non-human narrators (including animals, plants and natural phenomena), the landscape itself becomes the protagonist, making the reader constantly aware of its separate, living consciousness ... these are the areas that have most resisted Spanish influence: where fluency in Catalan is common, and local cultural history best preserved. When I Sing is replete with that history, its mythos and literature ... Mara Faye Lethem’s translation magnificently preserves the dreamy, haunting tone of the original. Some subtle nuances of the culture—and the power dynamic between Spanish and Catalan—are unavoidably lost, but Lethem ensures that Solà’s distinctive lyricism survives in English. When I Sing, Mountains Dance illuminates the delicate, mutable relationship we have to the places that dictate how we understand ourselves. It is a testament to what an author can achieve by sifting through the past and interrogating the world around them to create stories rich with meaning.