Book Review: Dear Comrade Novak

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About the story:

A story about conspiracy and revolution, love and hate, and the strong power of friendship.

In 1980s communist Romania, three school graduates form an unusual friendship: 17-year old Attila, who’s in love with his 45-year old teacher; Tiberius, son of high class secret police parents; and the gypsy Viorica, who is forced into a marriage arranged when she was four.

When a conspiracy scandal throws their life upside down, all three of them will have to choose their sides: for or against the cruel tyrant Ceausescu.

My review:

I was taken in from the first page and drawn into Attila’s world – communist Romania. With Hildebrandt’s writing style, I didn’t miss a beat. I felt connected with the three main characters – Attila, Tiberius, and Viorica right from the start. It’s a very sad story, as one could imagine, but I enjoyed reading about a different part of the world and about the issues that were faced by real people. I felt so sorry for dear Viorica and my heart went out to Attila. I mourned their losses and their struggles were great. They went through things that seem unthinkable to most people in the west. I hoped for better endings for all of them, but I enjoyed the author’s clever use of symbolism for both Attila and Tiberius. Though I know seeing someone like Attila would give me chills in real life, his humanity is never far from the surface. He’s not a machine or a psychopath, he’s simply doing what he thinks he needs to do to survive – he has to hide his identity by killing those who are just like him. I can only imagine how much that would kill someone on the inside. Tiberius is the epitome of a true friend to Attila and I enjoyed that aspect of the story as well. I also liked Anna, Attila’s sister, and while not the most brave or cunning person in the story, she was clever and complex. Again, I shudder at some of the exchanges between Attilla and other characters in the book, and I suppose that’s what brings a stunning nature to the story.
Personally, I enjoyed this story very much and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys great fiction – war or otherwise. I’m very glad to have discovered it and read it!

You can purchase this story here on Amazon!