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Train to Trieste

by Domnica Radulescu

Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Train to Trieste

Life in Ceausescu’s Romania in the late 70s seen through the eyes of a young woman suffering her first great love.  She comes from an intellectual family continually under the surveillance of the secret police.  Her parents fear for the girl’s safety and future and eventually smuggle her out of the country.  The fear and suspicion, hunger and hardship of the regime haunt the pages but is her salvation any better?  This is a tale of displaced people, of homesickness for a country that won’t accept free thinking, of betrayal, jealousy and deception.

Comparison: Irene Nemirovsky (Suite Francaise), Salley Vickers (The Other Side of You), Catherine Law (Season of Leaves).

Sarah Broadhurst

Train to Trieste Synopsis

It is 1977 and seventeen-year-old Mona Manoliu has fallen in love with Mihai, a mysterious boy who lives in the romantic mountain city where she spends her summers. She can think of nothing and no one else.

But life under Ceausescu’s Romania is difficult. Hunger, paranoia and fear infect everyone. One day Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket favoured by the secret police. Is it possible he is one of them? As food shortages worsen and more of her loved ones disappear, Mona comes to understand that she must leave Romania.

She escapes in secret – narrowly avoiding the police – through Yugoslavia to Italy, and finally to Chicago. But she leaves without saying a final goodbye to Mihai. And though she struggles to bury her longing for the past, many years later she finds herself compelled to return, determined to learn the truth.


Train to Trieste Press Reviews

'A coming of age story, a struggle for political integrity and female identity, a wonderful love story - the book engages us on many levels.' Bernhard Schlink, author of THE READER and HOMECOMING.

'I was swept away by Domnica Radulescu’s debut novel. It’s at once a haunting journey to a faraway country, beautiful and terrifying, and an odyssey straight to the heart of a young girl and the remarkable woman she becomes. Deeply moving and deeply felt, Train to Trieste is an unforgettable story that introduces a new and astonishingly fresh voice.' Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552774741
Publication date: 13/08/2009
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552774741
Publication date: 13th August 2009
Author: Domnica Radulescu
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Genres: Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,

About Domnica Radulescu

Domnica Radulescu won Romania's National Prize for Short Story Writing when she was just 17 but fled the country soon after to escape the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. She is now a Full Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Chair of the Women's Studies Program at Washington and Lee University.

More About Domnica Radulescu

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