Hello friends! I’ve been a bit away from blogging, but I was certainly reading, so get ready for upcoming reviews these days on my blog 🙂
I’m really excited for the Women’s Prize for fiction list this year. I know some books, but there were ones I’ve never heard of. I’ll try to read the list; I don’t think I can read them all until shortlist announcement, but I shall do my best 🙂
I picked one I had no idea, and the blurb attracted my attention. Happily, it turned out to be a brilliant book!
It’s the story of Alina, who was living in 1970s Romania under oppressive communist government. Quickly, we’re introduced to her husband, mother and aunt, who are the side characters who compliment her story. The main content of the book is to shed light to the difficulties, details and life style of the times in Romania when the government decided how you should live. What you eat, what you drink, where you live, what you can read, all were restricted and almost pre-defined for you. Alina is a bright woman who wanted to go to college, write a book, make a good life for herself, but her plans went all over the place after. In this book, we journey through her life since she gets married till the end of 1990s when she’s in her 50s.
I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. I learned more about that part of the history in Romania, that I didn’t know. The writing was weirdly unique and pulled me in to read about Alina. Although it was told from third person narrative, Alina was given a very clear voice and her character development was superb. I saw her growing out of a young, naive girl believing in love, to a mature, strong woman who knows what she wants.
The book was difficult at times, as oppression is not an easy thing to endure when it’s excessive. But, I thought it was handled gracefully without grim details and making me cringe.
Another impressive detail in writing was the addition of traditions and folkloric elements of Romanian culture. There was also a touch of magical realism, integrated in the story so very well. With these details, the book became even more interesting. I admired how the writer entwined all those things step by step in a book under 200 pages.
Talking about the 200 pages, the length of the book was perfect, leaving me wanting more, in a good way 🙂
So, all in all, I loved the book. I will definitely follow the writer in the future. I’d recommend this book to people who like to read about historical fiction, different cultures and societies, politics and impact of politics on normal lives.
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this. As always, I wish to hear from you in comments 🙂 Are you reading any long-listed books, recommendations? Happy reading!