by Christine Arnothy
Christine Arnothy's book is not currently available in the United States, but is available to purchase on UK Amazon. It has been translated to English from French.
The frist half of the book is well written and very good. Christine describes where whe was living during the seige of Budapest. She is living in the cellar of their apartment house with several other tenants. They are starving and scared of the Russians who threaten to invade at any moment. She is desdcrives her plight in great detail with wonderful imaging.
Her family escapes to the country and lives in their country home for 3 years. At this time she is 18. For some unknown reason they must leave in a hurry taking practically nothing with them.
As the book goes on, the story becomes bland. She constantly complains about her employment and her first husband. The story ends with her giving birth to their daughter. In the afterword, she only talks about her second husband and son. Also, in the afterword, it becomes very confusing as she describes more about the things she wrote about in the main part of the book, but they are completely different. I am not sure if something was lost in translation or if it is purposely written this way. This is more of a refugee story than a story of wartime survival. The story starts at the end of the war and 60% of the book is about after the war and how irritated she is with her husband and employment and how she longs to be a writer.
I would have rather had a bit more pre-war background on the family, why they had to leave Budapest, and what her parents ended up doing. She goes into no detail about how she and her first husband part ways or how she meets her 2nd husband. Not even in the dedication in the front of the book does she mention her daughter, only her son. Very odd indeed.