Select one of the keywords
Train to Trieste    by Domnica Radulescu order for
Train to Trieste
by Domnica Radulescu
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

It isn't often that we get to read a story set in Romania. In Train to Trieste author Radulescu gives us a very detailed account of what it was like to live there in the time of the Ceausescu dictatorship. Mona, seventeen years old, has fallen in love with Mihai, who lives in the mountain city where she spends her summers. Her father, a professor, tells her to be very careful, the secret police are everywhere.

We are taken into the mind and emotions of this young woman as she reacts to the disappearance of people around her, to hunger and deprivation, and to the growing paranoia everywhere. She feels she can trust no one and must escape. Most of the novel is spent developing this paralyzing feeling of living in a place where it feels like your best friend might turn out to be the spy who turns you in for no reason at all.

Mona does escape Romania, and that is truly an adventure as she travels to Croatia, Italy and, finally, the United States. Her American experiences are at times humorous but somehow not as well developed, which is easy to understand since her heart is still in Romania with Mihai.

Living inside someone's feelings is an intense experience, and the author does a great job of getting us inside Mona's consciousness. We truly come to understand her great love for her country and for Mihai. However, over time, sustaining interest in this sort of writing is pretty difficult because we are at the character's mercy. Train to Trieste is an unusual and beautiful story, but not for everybody.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Historical books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews