Alina: A Song For The Telling by Malve von Hassell

“He told me I could become a trobairitz, and I will,” I burst out. For years, I had dreamed of following in my father’s footsteps and becoming a trobairitz, a woman troubadour, performing and composing my own music and verses.

Malve von Hassell’s beautifully descriptive novel follows the story of fourteen-year-old Alina and her older brother, Milos as they navigate a new world following the loss of their family.

Alina follows in her father’s footsteps in her passion for playing the lute, and both her and Milos are able to continue to develop their musical talents to their advantage as they join a pilgrimage with Knights and Templars to Jerusalem.

Alina will overcome challenges, explore new lands and will find herself, with music and her lute always at the centre of her way of overcoming everything thrown at her.

I couldn’t put down this perfectly vivid and engaging read, and It comes highly recommended, even if it’s not to your usual taste.

You can purchase your own copy of Alina: A Song For The Telling here on Amazon

A bit about Malve von Hassell:

Malve von Hassell was born in Italy and spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research.

Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978- 1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell’s memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich – Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994).

She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. She has self-published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (2012/2020) and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults.

She has published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and has a forthcoming book, The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945. Currently, she is working on a biographical work about a woman coming of age in Nazi Germany.

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