Join author Connie Connally in celebration of her new fiction novel, The Songs We Hide. The book is set in Hungary during the 1950’s and is partly inspired by the work of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. The Songs We Hide includes themes of beauty amidst hardship.
“In 1951, a grim hush has settled over Hungary. After a lost war and a brutal transition to communism, the people live under constant threat of blacklisting, property confiscation, arrest, imprisonment, and worse. In this milieu of dread, the best land of Péter Benedek’s peasant family is seized and his life upended. Moving to Budapest for a manual labor job, Péter meets Katalin Varga, an unwed mother whose baby’s father has vanished, most likely at the hands of the secret police. Both Péter and Katalin keep their heads down and their mouths clamped shut, because silence is the only safety they know. The two have something in common besides fear: they are singers whose very natures make the silence unbearable. When Katalin starts giving Péter voice lessons, they take an intrepid step out of hiding by making music together. Little by little they tell each other what they cannot tell others. In their bond of trust, they find relief and unexpected happiness. Yet the hurts and threats in their lives remain, waiting. As harsh reality assaults them again, is hope even possible? Facing their hardest trials yet, Péter and Katalin learn to carve dignity and beauty out of pain.” – Book description from Amazon.com
Connie Hampton Connally has loved music and the written word all her life. She’s published magazine stories and newspaper articles, worked as an editor, and taught high school English and elementary music. Through teaching music, she discovered the work of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály, who uplifted his nation through decades of war, fascism and communism. Ms. Connally couldn’t resist this theme of beauty amidst hardship. She wrote The Songs We Hide as a result, and she is currently writing another novel set in Hungary.