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Love Will Follow jThis book was enchanting to read The narrative is from the point of view of a child growing up in communist Romania and heroys and concerns are as uniue to the time and place as they are universal to all children everywhere It s a stunning read I highly recommend this book It is true that our childhood everyday exeriences make us what we are how we look at those experiences as we grow older gives "us wisdom and knowledge a great book to hel us remember and look back as to how we thought at a "wisdom and knowledge A Great Book To great book to us remember and look back as to how we thought at a age smile This book reads like an autobiography in the same vein as Cider With Rosie buy from the perspective of a 10 year old Romanian child It was uaint and interesting rather than the most gripping read I ve ever had but sometimes its the little things that matterLife is hard by modern standards but Silvia and her friends make the best of it because that it all they know Even having grown up in a modern western country the things Silvia is concerned about school work family friends and childhood enemies school trips and a healthy fantasy life resonated with meThe language is a little Stilted But Rather Than but rather than annoying it adds to the atmosphere of the story Gabriela Popa s writing is refreshingly beautiful achingly universal and somewhat spiritual Popa writes this story from 10 year old Sylvia Marcu s perspective about childhood in communist Romania in the 60s on the eve of change Popa s personal experience informs this fictionalized historical novel Through the eyes of a child we see what the child deems as important what the freedoms and limitations of daily life are In no way does the author draw sympathy from the reader forcing us to see how communism may have robbed the children of their childhood Instead what Popa allows us to do through Sylvia is see the kindness compassion confusion exploration dreams and choices we have outside the boxOutside the box describes Kafka s house Franz Kafka is a real person a German language fiction author fro the late 1800s early 1900s When Sylvia visits this writer s abode she realizes Though generally outside the genres that I tend to gravitate towards Gabriela Popa has found a great way of writing a fantastic way of writing from the point of view of a child while avoiding the annoyance of dealing with such an immature voice but maintaining the innocence and simple naivety that you d expect While I fully expected to grow tired of a ten year old s point of view I found myself surprisingly satisfied and endearedThrough Popa s writing she depicts for us life in the late 60s in Romania Again not something I d have thought myself interested in but interested I was Parts feel so real that I found myself forgetting Kafka s House isn t billed as a biography It s fiction it s an easy read and it feels remarkably authenticKafka s house describes 1968 Romania though the eyes of a ten year old it veers into the coming of age genre and it describes a hard time in 10yo Sylvia s life The story is full of hope even in a time that was so sad for so many so much so that you can t help but be a little disappointed when you don t find out the rest of Sylvia s story very easy read good. Ten year old Silvia Marcu lives in the magical world of fairy tales sheltered from the traumatic events Romania goes through during.

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Kafkas HouseE sharp observers of the world around them as they seek to understand that world and their place in it Some experiences truly are universalOriginally written for Books and Pals book blog Through a Child s EyesGabriela Popa has discovered a transporting method of writing about the magic of being a child and seeing the world through the eyes of a child In her words A few years after I came to US after a long discussion with my American friends about life in Eastern Europe I started writing a novel about what meant to be a child in communist Romania I wanted to understand the child I once was Because I Felt That That Child Held The Key To I felt that that child held the key to future I wanted to understand what it meant to grow up there in the mid sixties How were my friends my schoolmates how was I able to figure out what was happening around us How did we distinguish between bad and good when they were labeled chaotically How was it that we laughed a lot as children In KAFKA S HOUSE Popa reveals a gift for writing that assures the reader from the first page that here is an artist who not only expresses herself well in a language that is so innocently childlike but that she is about to give us all a view of how life in that she is about to give us all a view of how life in Communist countries developed and influenced the thinking of the people primarily through the developing eyes and thoughts of children who had not known life without dictatorshipThis is a not a caustic novel a book filled with disenchantment a picture of a country degraded by the regime of Nicolae Ceau escu This story is related to the universal tales of the spectrum of growing up in an environment restrictive by both governmental decree and by low income living no matter where the house and child and school and events of a year take placeIt would be difficult to imagine that the main character the indefatigable Sylvia Cercu age 10 a little girl with a wild imagination insisting on dreams coming true curious enough to play at seeking God s assistance in gaining permission to attend a summer camp on the Black Sea in both an Orthodox Church and a Catholic Church a little vixen unafraid to tease her fellow classmate Florin about his big banded ears as she is to try forbidden medicine stolen by her best friend Duck and yet eually as able to perform her child duties such as fetching the ingredients for her mother s soup it is difficult to think that there is not a lot of mother s soup it is difficult to think that there is not a lot of Popa revealedSo why the title of this book It is as simply explained as is the day to day life in Bacau Romania and yet echoes the wisdom of the writer Franz Kafka 1883 1924 was a German language writer of novels and short stories born in Prague whose themes included alienation physical and psychological brutality parent child conflict characters on a terrifying uest and mystical transformations We discover from Sylvia that Kafka lived in a tiny restrictive house in exotic Prague a parallel in many ways though on the level of a child to Sylvia s existence It is that sort of multiple levels of meaning that makes this little book so memorable Originality of writing depth of intelligence and freshness of voice these are the attributes of Gabriela Popa Grady Har. Dor Silvia embarks on a miraculous ourney that reveals that the ordinary people around us hold the key to our most puzzling uestion. For all ages Gabriela writes in Such A Way That The a way that the can see what the characters are seeing You almost feel as if you are there walking with 10 year old Sylvia and experiencing her life as she does So glad to have the opportunity to read this book Thankfully Gabriela gifted me a copy of this wonderful story It was a good story that kept you reading I enjoyed every minute of the telling that kept you reading I enjoyed every minute of the telling Silvia s childhood I always love to learn about different cultures Thank you Gabriela I would like to read from you An intimate and affecting view of 1968 Romania at the time of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia through the eyes of Silvia Marcu a dreamy and imaginative 10 year old learning about death disappointment and informants in a totalitarian societyYet for all that and despite Silvia s frugal circumscribed life the book has a warmth humor and wisdom that elevate it above mere politics Of particular appeal too is the look inside Romanian homes families and lives as people were forced to adapt to grim realities Her father adapts by drinking wine and plum brandy a neighbor lady dreams of traveling to Prague Silvia dreams of going to summer camp on the Black SeaBut we also get to see the reality what they eat how they travel their folktales their idioms and daily life both in town and in the countryside We also witness how they deal with a bureaucracy indifferent as are most all bureaucracies to personal wants The reader glimpses too Silvia s ongoing struggles with the multiplication tables including her visualizing the number seven as seven dwarfs hopping from one ladder of the multiplication table to another as a means of finally enjoying mathThis is a charming novel Near the beginning when eight year old Silvia Marcu the protagonist and narrator of Kafka s House is introducing herself to the reader she mentions that people who live in small houses make her uneasy She then relates this to how she felt years later when she visited the house in Prague where Franz Kafka once lived This house while extremely small is also where Kafka wrote much of his work Silvia says I was stunned to see how someone with such vast inner spaces can live in such a ridiculously small house If there is an overriding theme to Kafka s House it is while someone might be restricted in many ways it is still possible to have an enjoyable and full life by focusing on those areas that are unrestricted Romania in the 1960s was very restrictive The country was communist with the constraints that implies The Soviets were invading neighboring Czechoslovakia which created stress and less freedom as they prepared for the possibility of war Silvia s house while larger than Kafka s was still small and crowded with Silvia her parents and sister living in a two room apartment Yet Silvia had a zest for life and all it had to offerI found the book enjoyable not only for the story but for the glimpse it gave of growing up in a different country and culture The differences are revealing yet I found the similarities show almost as much Kids interact with each other in the same way regardless of country They worry about schoolwork They love to play and ar. The sixties As the events of 1968 unfold she is assailed by uestions no one not even her parents can answer With imagination and can.