Sunday 27 February 2011

Smuggled by Christina Shea - Book Review

Title: Smuggled
Author: Christina Shea
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic
Publication Date: Coming 5th July 2011
Format: Ebook - PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC from NetGalley


Five-year-old Eva is trafficked from Hungary to Romania at the end of the war, arriving in the fictional border town of Crisu, given the name Anca Balaj by her aunt and uncle and instructed never to speak another word of Hungarian again. “Eva is dead,” she is told. As the years pass, Anca proves an unquenchable spirit, with a lust for life even when political forces threaten to derail her at every turn. Time is layered in this quest for self, culminating in the end of the Iron Curtain and Anca’s reclaiming of the name her mother gave her. When Eva returns to Hungary in 1990, a country changing as fast as the price of bread, she meets Martin, an American teacher, and Eva’s lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle as her cross-cultural relationship with Martin deepens through their endeavor to rescue the boy downstairs from abuse.(Goodreads Synopsis)

I received this ebook copy of Smuggled as a ARC from NetGalley and I am so glad that I decided to request it.
The story is gripping from start to finish with a wonderful array of colourful characters, all expertly portrayed against the landscapes of countries torn apart.
I was very interested to learn more about post-war life in some of the Eastern European states and it was a real eye-opener to think that events similar to those in the novel were happening at that time.
Shea's prose is engaging and full of wonderful description and real emotion and I found it hard to put the book down.
I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about this book and I can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a dramatic story full of emotion and grit.

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