Deafened in her dreams, Anita tries to make sense of the images she does not understand yet seem so familiar. There is a dancing and singing girl and a bear-like man seeking a young girl for his possession. Living with her father and great-grandparents who emigrated from Romania, Anita tries to make do with a life of sacrifice that meet her great-grandfather's approval. An only child, Anita works at a newsstand in Chicago, dreaming of one day being something more.
On her great-grandmother's deathbed, a message is whispered to Anita: "Nitte, free the nighthawk's song." As a furor sweeps through the once-peaceful house that perhaps Anita's head has been filled with stories from the motherland, Anita steps away to ponder her great-grandmother's last words. Why was she called Nitte? Was this the Romanian version of her name? What was the nighthawk, and how could anyone cage a nighthawk's song?
Anita's strange dreams continue as she strives to solve this mystery. Then one day her world changes and all of the pieces of her dreams fall into place when she is able to hear in her final mysterious dream. She finally understands her connection to her heritage and her great-grandmother's past.
A short but sweet tale, Song of the Nighthawk by Melissa Glisan is richly told in the style of old storytelling and it held my attention from first page to last.