It’s a pure coincidence that I was reading simultaneously three books at the same time which depicts stories about love in the time of war. ”My children” by Guzel Yakhina followed ”Zuleikha opens her eyes”, the first book I’ve read by the same author; ”The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris ”found me” after my visit to the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau and I was captivated by all the details I saw with my eyes there; the third one is the Bulgarian novel ”The Peach Thief” by Emilian Stanev that tells the story of love that keeps you alive in time of war, disease and hunger.
”My children” by Guzel Yakhina.
This is the second novel of the best-selling Russian speaking author Guzel Yakhina. ”My Children” describes the early period of Soviet Union era: the Volga River in the 1920-1930s. Jacob Bach, the main character, is Russian German and a teacher in Gnadental. He is a weirdo, but a respected weirdo, as he is a teacher. Till one day when he starts giving private lessons to the daughter of one of the noblemen in the village and falls in love with the voice of his student, as he is forbidden to see her. Klara, the young lady, runs away and finds Bach and starts living with him. Till one day, when some Russian random guys supposed to implement the new policies attack their house and rape Klara. Klara gets pregnant and gives birth to a little girl. Bach becomes speechless after the death of Klara and has to take care of the little Anche on his own. Fearful of the ”big real-world” outside of their remote countryside house, Bach raises and nurtures Anche without exposing her to people, neither any outside influence. Unfortunately, little Anche grows up speechless as her father is. The only way, Bach frees his soul and the reader can discover his rich internal world is through the fairy tales he writes for the governor of the village. And these detailed fairy tales turn up to become true…This book is in between fantasy and reality, between two countries – Germany and Russia, this novel only suggests the uprising regime and details the fears paralyzing Jacob Bach, the only witness of life in Gnadental.
I highly recommend you to read the book as it is very well written, rich in layers and details about life at that period of history.
”The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris
”The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris narrates the beautiful love story of Ghita and Lale who met each other in the camp of death – Auschwitz – Birkenau. Many books and movies followed this sinister period of history, but after my visit to the concentration camp my perception of the place and all the details, I saw there, gave more vividity to my reading. Numerous reviews praise the worth of the book. Personally, I read the book in one go and Lale’s faith in himself, in his own salvation from the camp of death, his belief in their love with Ghita and the beautiful life that awaits them behind the horrors of the war kept me going. His own belief actually saved them. Grab the book if you still hesitate.
”The Peach Thief” by Emilian Stanev
”The Peach Thief” is a novel by the Bulgaria author Emilian Stanev. The story is set at the end of World War I, in the former capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. It portrays the story of a love affair between a Serbian prisoner of war, Ivo Obrenovich, and a Colonel’s wife, Elisaveta.
The title refers to an incident in Elisaveta’s private garden where she caught Ivo stealing peaches. As the food is frugal in this time of war, Elisaveta encourages Ivo to pass by another day for food and an old pair of boots of her husband’s. Their second encounter leads them to embark on a love affair that makes both their lives easier. She is a prisoner in her own life and house where she lives with her cold husband, much older than her, and Ivo, on the other hand, is a prisoner of war. Only their few secret encounters in the plot near her garden make them dream about a bright future…Till the same deadly fate does not befall them…There is a movie based on the novel that stares the elegant Bulgarian star Nevena Kokanova.
The season of the rain, warm blankets and hot beverages is at the doorstep. Just grab a book and just enjoy it!
Thanks for reading!