A fresh and enchanting tale about the power of love — and of music.
Mee was born with a great gift: the ability to sing other people's stories and heal their pain. Yet he cannot escape the pain of his own failure to reach his deaf mother and heal her grief. As he travels the country, he eases many people's sorrows, but he remains always alone.
Mitou also has a gift: spreading joy through a few notes from her accordion. When she hears about Mee, she knows that surely they belong together. Then they are summoned to see the beautiful Princess Esperanza, who has been trapped in a spell of her own making. Will Mitou's hopes be fulfilled or is the pain of the past too great?
Praise for Heartsinger
"Stoffels’s fresh Dutch voice, rendered fluidly and beautifully in Watkinson’s translation, weaves together traditional folktale elements to creates an original, haunting story of love that is magical unto itself. Heartfelt through and through." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Dutch author Stoffels makes an impressive American debut as she adopts the mannered language of fairy tales. These characters' stories, cleverly interlinked, play on timeless themes of love, loss and rejuvenation, but fold in idiosyncratic elements...her characters, especially the women, have a ferocity that belies the possibly precious tone, and readers who like love stories will savor the imaginative details." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"...the novel is written with clarity and grace....this unusual novel offers readers limpid writing, strong storytelling, and the unblinking recognition of love in many forms." — Booklist
"Each story carries its own version of heartbreak and redemption, and the book brings overarching themes of appreciating life in all of its complexities of joy and sorrow and valuing people for who they are rather than rejecting them for not living up to our expectations. This thematic wisdom is communicated with a light touch in a variety of contexts, and readers who enjoy literary fairy tales will be charmed by this offering. " — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books