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Golden Earrings

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  527 ratings  ·  70 reviews
A powerful saga of family, love, honour and betrayal

You who judge me: come! Let me tell you a story …

Paloma Batton is the granddaughter of Spanish refugees who fled Barcelona after the Civil War. A disciplined student with the School of the Paris Opera Ballet, Paloma lets little get in the way of her career until she receives a visit from an otherworldly being who leaves h...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Harper Collins Pub (Australia) Pty Ltd (first published 2011)
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Christine Darcas
This is a masterfully crafted, rich feast of a read. Knowing too well the amount of time, effort and hope that goes into writing a novel, I won’t review a book unless I have only good things to say about it … and I have lots of terrific things to say about this one.
Alexandra creates a passionate, deeply interwoven story about a girl, Celestina, born in Barcelona’s early 20th century ghettos, who survives to become a world class Flamenco dancer. Through Spain’s turbulent civil unrest, she becomes...more
Faye Barron
A historical setting brings different times and places ALIVE! In this case, the plot moves between the 1970s Paris back to the Spanish Civil War earlier in the century. The characters are all involved in an intriguing, and colourful family saga with an abundance love, hate and betrayal. We feel these emotions with them - in settings of wealth, deprivation, success and demoralisation.
This is the first Belinda Alexander book that I have read - and feel very anxious to read the other four.
Thank you...more
Jess
I love love LOVED this book!
Belinda Alexandra is one of my all time favourite authors and she has yet again demonstrated why.

The storyline was full of adventure and twists worthy of any dancer, and while it was definitely not predictable, it was easy to follow. I would think I had figured it all out and then a new detail would be expertly woven in and I had to guess again.

The characters were colourful and their stories were told by switching seamlessly from one pint of view to another, one era...more
Betty
An out standing audio book brilliantly read! Alexandra is a fairly new Australian author and this was the first of her books that I have read. I will be hunting out other books by her because I enjoyed this book so much. It was a very powerful family saga with deep love and cruel betrayal set in two time periods. It has given me a better understanding of the Spanish Civil War and its affect on the Spanish people. I have also been enlighten about the passion and dedication a dancer of ballet and...more
Joanna
The potential was there for me to really enjoy this book, but one thing kept stopping me. Look, Miss Alexandra, I do realise this book was set in Barcalona and Paris. But I find the random insertion of foreign words in an English novel to be really pretentious. Maybe now and then, in dialogue perhaps, but not every page or two.

It detracted from what was actually very good writing. It meant that for me, the Story couldn't just flow, because I was getting annoyed every other page.

I would give th...more
Hannah
I love the mystery of Belinda Alexandra novels. She sweeps you along on someone else's journey and just as you think you have it figured out, she throws you some new clue. I read these novels ferociously trying to get to the end and see what really happens.

What else I love is how the stories and the characters feel both so extraordinary and real at the same time. How does she do it? I think part of it is the history - it is much easier to believe in a story when the circumstances surrounding it...more
Belinda
Would give 4.5 if I could. Really enjoyed this. It took me a little bit to get into but this always seems to be the case for me for books with historical settings, especially when I am not very familiar with the context (in this case during the Spanish Revolution). Once it grabbed me, it grabbed me, as her books always do.
Kiwileese
I listened to this wonderful book as an audio book, i cannot recommend this story enough. One of the best stories ive read in a long time

Beautifully read by Caroline Lee who is a gifted actor and narrator who has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television as well as having narrated many audiobooks.
Jacquie Tomlins
Absolutely awesome book... Again Belinda Alexandra takes us to another world and we are left feeling like we were in another time & place. I feel like I knew these people. When Paloma dance the flamenco I was tapping my feet. If you haven't read any of Belinda's books this is another good reason to start.
Melissa Wells
One of the most inspirational, descriptive, emotional and interesting books I've EVER read. It is now my favourite! :)
And will be dressing up as La Rusa tomorrow night for our colleges' themed dinner :D
Mary
Another great one from Belinda Alexandra. I love that I can actually learn things about historical events through her fiction.
Ashley Lauren
Oh, this book.

Do you ever read a historical fiction and think, "This must have happened." It was so expertly woven, the truth and tales of the times intermingled with the fiction so beautifully I thought it had to be true. The richness of the story, though certainly not all uplifting, felt like something that just had to have happened. Of course, I realize that's not the case, but I don't think I'll be able to ever think about the Spanish Civil War without imagining La Rusa's impact.

I adored thi...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is a novel with a moral, that reminds us to always get the full story before judging others.


It took me a long time to read this, as I had to juggle it with review-required books, but it's a book that one needs to savor bit by bit anyway.


It goes from Paloma in 1970s France--a ballet dancer estranged from her father, living with her Spanish grandmother who is full of secrets--to Evelina in a turbulent Spain--a wealthy pampered girl I never came to like--to La Rusa, a flamenco dancer accused o...more
Amanda
A book covering the Spanish civil war (seem to be reading a lot of those recently) and flamenco dancers. A novel with twists and turns and a lot of historical background very well researched. Brought up to date by the 'then and now' way of writing - 1975 dancer being given some golden earrings by a ghost and how she finds out the background to the earrings and where they came from. Members of her family show up in good and bad ways but all in all it was a good story which I enjoyed.
Kaye Kelly

A gifted ballet dancer, Paloma Batton is humiliated at not being chosen for the Paris Opera Ballet. Given another chance to audition she’s not confident of passing as she realises her failure to win a place the first time was due to a personal grievance of Arielle Marineau, a member of the selection panel, and nothing to do with her dancing ability.

Her grandmother has always been reticent about her past, something that hasn’t bothered Paloma until she sees a ghost. That, combined with Arielle Ma...more
Ruth
c2011: FWFTB: Spain, Castro, flamenco, ballet, ghost. A rather pedestrian effort showing no particular panache or new take on an old favourite. I could tell what was going to happen or rather how things were going to turn out within the first couple of chapters which made completing the book very difficult. Recommended to those of the normal crew that have not read too many 'family sagas'.
Tiff
I chose to read this as I had many years ago read (and loved) Wild Lavender. I also adore armchair travelling with novels set abroad. Golden Earrings is set in Spain and France so that was another tick in the box before I'd read the first page.

Golden Earrings is an epic tale of family, love and betrayal. Paloma is a ballet dancer living in Paris. An encounter with a ghost leaves her with a pair of earrings and a craving to learn of her Spanish heritage. We follow Paloma on her quest to find the...more
Chaya
I read this book because of the title and was wowed by the author's writing. I love the characters, the historical setting, the poetic way she writes. It is easy to fall in love with the story. Beautifully written!
Kokom1
I was very disappointed with this book. The other books I have read from the same author were awesome. I especially loved White Gardenia and have recommended it to so many people, but this was predictable and political. What happened Belinda??
Ruth
I loved this grown-up fairly!!!! A historical novel that gives one an insight into the Spanish Civil War, something I knew very little about. A good read with lots of twists & turns.
Angela Oliver
This differs somewhat from earlier Alexandra novels in that the title does not include a flower, and that it is written in two different time periods - more reminescent of Kate Morton (another fine Australian author). How it does not differ is that it is an engrossing, sometimes heart-breaking novel about a woman (well, two women, actually) during a traumatic time in European history - in this case the Spanish Civil war. Whilst some of the plot twists may seem a little predictable, it was a high...more
Vanessa Wells
A testament to this author is all these rave reviews.
Wendy
Historical fiction, dance, and the supernatural combine to make this a very entertaining read.

Cacophony rating: 1
Natarsha
Wow, Totally a page turner. Enjoyed immensely.
Judith
Melodrama based around ballet, flamenco and Spanish civill war. Took a while for me to get into but kept me reading. So many characters I did not feel they were deeply developed.
Tonia
I loved this book. It was historically fascinating and I loved learning so much about the history of Spain. I also loved the characters and the depth each one had. I loved the description of dances. I loved the message that Paloma learns after hearing the true stories of both her grandma and Larusa. And I enjoyed how she used that lesson in her own life with her father. This book reminds me a lot of a Kate Morton book and I just love books that teach us from the past.
Cheryl
Barcelona--Paris--Ballet--Flamenco--Spanish Civil War--Family Secrets--even a ghost
What's not to like?
Julie James
Belinda Alexandra did a great job of depicting the social realities (tragedies) of the historical situation, and I learned things from her depiction of the Flamenco culture and of the Civil War. I was unconvinced by the relationship between the younger characters. But, that didn't matter to me because it was enough to carry the plot, and the book made me seek out other books on the topic, which is a testament to Alexandra's use of historical detail.
Kaz
I loved this book. I love historical fiction and it was interesting to read about flamenco and the hardships of Barcelona in the 30s. I loved how it went from paloma's story in the 70s of her discovering her family's past to her experience of love and joining the French ballet company. The story of evelina and celestina intertwined about growing up either rich or poor in Barcelona was eye opening. Altogether a beautiful story.
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Belinda Alexandra has been published to wide acclaim in Australia and internationally. She is the daughter of a Russian mother and an Australian father and has been an intrepid traveller since her youth. Her love of other cultures is matched by her passion for her home country, Australia, where she is a volunteer carer for the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).
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