Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania

Haya Leah Molnar, Author . FSG/Foster $17.99 (302p) ISBN 978-0-374-31840-6

In the unsentimental, present-tense narrative voice of her childhood self, Molnar chronicles both her family's experience in rampantly anti-Semitic Communist Romania following WWII, and her personal awakening to her Jewish identity: “All I know is that yesterday I wasn't Jewish and today I am.” The adored only child in a multigenerational, cramped household full of combative, artistic personalities, Eva observes and reflects on conflict wrought by her family's forced downward mobility, hiding knives when tensions rise, and learning the art of secret keeping, both within the familial and public spheres. Comic books and novels provide escape for Eva, while stories quietly told to her by various family members reveal fragments of tragic recent history that prove enlightening as she seeks to understand adult behavior, particularly that of her distant, moody father. Finely wrought moments poignantly render the political and religious complexity of Eva's childhood: her best friend, a Christian, searches Eva's head for horns; her Jewish aunt delivers a Christmas tree; she learns that two Nazis saved her family's lives years earlier. Haunting images and humorous anecdotes combine to powerful effect in this impressive debut. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-4442-7
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