cover image This Rebel Heart

This Rebel Heart

Katherine Locke. Knopf, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-38124-3

In the autumn of 1956—11 years after the Holocaust and a decade after Russian domination—the Budapest of Jewish newspaper typist Csilla Tisza has gone literally colorless, and its residents remain cautious, afraid of the Hungarian secret police. Though Csilla’s parents were killed “for the crime of dual loyalty, of Zionism” four years back, they’re now exonerated, then reburied in a state funeral. Change may be in the air, but Csilla still keeps a low profile while planning to escape with her aunt to Israel. After she’s followed by the secret police one morning, she’s saved from almost certain arrest by a familiar-seeming entity, then encounters a handsome student, Tamás, who’s mourning his murdered lover. Infected by news of Polish freedom fighters and a growing sense of possibility, they join with others in demanding liberation from post-Stalinist Soviet rule. Lyrically melding facts and otherworldly elements, including the angel of death, Jewish folklore, and the Danube as a magical, life-giving river with which Csilla can communicate, Locke (the Balloonmakers series) offers an original, moving tribute to the bravery of freedom fighters—straight and queer, Jewish and gentile—who risked their lives for their cause. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Lara Perkins, Andrea Brown Literary. (Apr.)[/em]