The Bird that Sang in Color is the story of a woman who creates the life she always wanted and then leaves it behind when she discovers the secret to living free. Donna, in her early teens, decides that having a fulfilling life is contingent upon having a family, a nice house, and a dignified career. She decides this for her and her older brother, Vincent, an artistic type who she doesn’t perceive as someone capable of getting these things on his own. As she goes about acquiring these things through the course of her lifetime, he remains single, childless, working low-paid jobs, and subsisting in cramped apartments or boarding homes. She harbors guilt for her supposed failure to improve his life until she finds a book of sketches he’d made of his life which allows her to discover his internal joy and prompts her own journey of living authentically.
Donna is the matriarch of the Greco family—the family of my previous two novels, Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees and Discovery of an Eagle. Although this is the third book in The Greco Family Trilogy, it can, like all my books, be read as a stand-alone. If a reader wants to read all three books, the only recommendation I would make in terms of order is reading Discovery of an Eagle after Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees.
My inspiration for writing this book comes from finding my own brother’s pictorial autobiography. It inspired me to think of my life in terms of pictures, which in turn, inspired me to accomplish things I wanted to do. I wanted to share this insight and inspiration with the world. This book is meant to be more than just a family drama and self-actualization story. It’s meant to inspire readers to live authentically and free, to ponder what pictures they will have of themselves by the end of their lives, and to create varied and colorful pictures.
The title fits the central theme of living free with a bird being the most well-known symbol of freedom. The title also encompasses the novel’s themes of music, art, and nonconformity. That is, the bird sings in color as opposed to blending into the background of societal convention.
Written by GRACE MATTIOLI