A tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest.
In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most–safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father’s legacy that she wishes she could forget.
Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.
Hiya friends! It’s time for another wrap-up post. Presenting to you a wrap-up for the books I read in June 2021 which fortunately is on time, unlike the wrap-up posts for April and May 2021. I read just two books in June. Hopefully, in July, I will be able to read more. Without further ado, let’s dive into the recap.
Hiya friends! It’s time for another wrap-up post. Presenting to you a wrap-up for the books I read in May 2021. Just like April 2021 Wrap-Up, this post is also a month late. As I have already pointed out in this post: “A Short Update: A Non-Linear Trajectory for my Blog“, my blogging schedule has gone for a toss. I am not finding the time or the urge to read as many books as I used to previously. Consequently, I read three books in May also. Hopefully, in the coming months, I will be able to read more. Without further ado, let’s dive into the recap.
Another year is going to end in two days. Another year in which I have spectacularly failed to reach my reading goals. Yet, among the few books that I read, these are the books that stand out for me. Have a look:
“I think about a time when eating your fill and feeling safe was normal. … and the worst I worried about was doing my homework. I long for that time, but as I lay there in Wolfgang’s threadbare blanket, another conviction grows inside me like a terrible sore.
I realize I’m mourning instead because that time will never return.”
Quoted from When They Made Us Leave by Annette Oppenlander
A longing for the past that is never going to return – that’s the aftermath of a war. Annette Oppenlander’s “When They Made Us Leave: A Novel about Hitler’s Mass Evacuation Program for Children” details the brutalities of the Second World War from the perspective of the German youth (and their families) who had to attend the much-loathed KLV program (an evacuation program).
As the frequency of Allied bombings increases in Germany, parents are encouraged, and in some cases forced, to send their children to youth camps where they will supposedly lead a better life. Fourteen-year-old Hilda and her childhood friend and love, Peter, are among them. While Hilda is reluctant to leave her mother, Peter is ecstatic to attend such a camp and spend time on the beaches, as promised by the camp organizers.
However, Peter soon realizes the farce behind such camps which are being run in a military style by dogmatic individuals. Hilda, too, must endure a draconian Abbess in the cloister she is forced to attend.
Oppenlander describes Hilda and Peter’s heart-wrenching journey through a war-stricken Germany back to their ravaged homes and into each other’s hearts in this book.
Meryl, a Vietnam war widow, feels forlorn as her son has moved to Japan, and her aged father has remarried. A WWII Japanese flag, the last message of its bearer scribbled on it in his blood dried long ago, falls into her hands. She wants to return the flag to the soldier’s family but is reluctant to step out of her world.
After a gentle nudge from a love-struck professor and a not-so-subtle push from her father and cousin, she sets out to return the flag to where it belongs—Japan. Along the way, she meets many people – all of whom help her in reaching her destination one step closer while also helping her find herself.