Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.– GoodReads
I suppose I’m not what one would call an emotional reader, I get teary eyed a lot but I rarely cry at sad things while reading (despite feeling terribly sad lol) but this book had me in tears. I don’t think I’ve had multiple cries in a VERY long time while reading. This book is extremely powerful and emotional. While Romania will most likely never forget what it went through, the rest of the world (especially perhaps us in the USA) will forget or never know about this period in Romanian history.
The constant having to check over your shoulder, the mistrust that can occur within a close knit community and even your own home is palpable. It’s so easy to connect with Cristi he’s very relatable for his age and it’s the sort of thing that transcends time the desires and hopes and he’s very revealing in his feelings to the reader.
Honestly this candidness from Cristi was so poignant to read. I loved the struggle he had within himself, how much he loved his family and how he tried to get his voice heard. The other characters are just as well fleshed out, I have a hard time believing they’re not real. Cristi, his friends, his family, they left an impression on my heart. (I know so mushy sounding from me)
Pacing is steady it never feels too fast or slow, it builds the appropriate tension necessary to get to the apex and throw the characters and us through a loop as their world is turned upside down. Sepetys has a great writing style that makes it extremely easy to read while remaining hugely impactful on the reader.
The things that happen to the people around him, to him, they’re heartbreaking and that ending certainly had me crying a little more again. I can’t believe the truths that were found out.
Amazing novel, 5/5 cups of coffee from me., thanks so much to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC. [It does inspire me to branch out more and go towards the source to further my knowledge on the matter.]