Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
A book about bullfighting seems like the last book I would want to read, but Shadow of a Bull is not just a book about bullfighting. Shadow of a Bull is a rich book about the trials of being the son of a hero, a book about the struggles of a boy trying to find his own way in a world that is attempting to force him to take a path the boy does not want to take. Manolo is the son of a magnificent bullfighter. When Manolo's father is killed in the ring, the people look to Manolo to become the man his father was. Manolo does not want to be a bullfighter. But he does not want to disappoint his mother and his father's friends and all the people of his town. He is afraid, paradoxically, of both the bull and of being a coward. He can find no way out.
The author is somehow able to share with the reader the beauty and the horror of bullfighting. I was surprised to find that I could see bullfighting in a new way, as an art, as a heroic act, though I continue to feel revulsion as well.