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Reviewed by Cathy Peterson

Just the Facts: By Christina Shea 7-2011  Grove Atlantic Inc

VerSmuggleddict: ★★★★☆

Who Cares? Fiction, historical fiction,

Short Bio: When five-year-old Eva is trafficked from Hungary to Romania at the end of the war, she arrives in the fictional border town of Crisu, a pocket of relative safety, where she is given the name Anca Balaj by her aunt and uncle, and instructed never to speak another word of Hungarian again. “Eva is dead,” she is told. As the years pass, Anca proves an unquenchable spirit, full of passion and imagination, with a lust for life even when a backdrop of communist oppression threatens to derail her at every turn. Time is layered in this quest for self, culminating in the end of the Iron Curtain and Anca’s reclaiming of the name her mother gave her. When she returns to Hungary in 1990, the country is changing as fast as the price of bread, and Eva meets Martin, an American teacher who rents the apartment opposite hers and cultivates a flock of pigeons on his balcony. As Eva and Martin’s cross-cultural relationship deepens through their endeavor to rescue the boy downstairs from his abusive mother, Eva’s lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle.

Eyewitness Account:This book connects the reader with Eva with a very strong cord of excellent writing.  The reader immediately sees the dichotomy between left-handed, free-spirit, Eva and right-handed, submissive Anca.  As her life develops, with Anca’s crushed hand symbolizing the death Eva, one must read on to see if these two ladies will merge or if one must die for the survival of the other.   I was very impressed with the creativity of this plot, albeit, a bit disappointed that the solution to all problems turned out to be American?

Notable Quotes:  The best thing about Americans is they are not Germans.

Other Books Read by This Author:none

What are other people saying?


★★★★☆ Writing Style

★★★☆☆ Organization

★★★★★ Original Idea

★★★★☆ Page Turner

Overall ★★★★☆


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