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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This book makes me feel happy when I read it, although with its subject matter of oppression in Communist Czechoslovakia, but as the lead character, Hana, is such a strong and optimistic woman who faces no end of challenges and still finds a way to get what she wants it is impossible not to be happy while immersed in her life. When Hana is a child her father is imprisoned for making a joke in the privacy of his own home and which Hana repeated to her school friends. Hana and her brother would have become outcasts and wards of the state if not for Nora, an Englishwoman married to Dr Cerny, who demands to be given the children and gets her way by shouting incomprehensively at the officials until they back down. As Hana grows up she and her brother are eventually taken in by an elderly aunt, while Nora returns to England, but Hana finds her life influenced by Nora from afar and eventually, when she is a mother herself, hatches a plan to reunite herself with her sons father and escape the life she has fallen into so unexpectedly. The entire book is wonderful, Hana is wonderful, Dr Cerny and Nora are wonderful, Czechoslovakia is wonderful and I have reread this story more times than I can remember, each time loving it just as much as the first time. It's an injustice to the book that it isn't more widely loved and appreciated and I highly recommend it to everyone. The story is both comic and tragic, ordinary and extraordinary and says so much about a life it is difficult to imagine, but even with it's hardships and restrictions it is impossible not to fall in love with Czechoslovakia or with Hana and Nora. Any book that can show a near death experience centred around a pickled onion also deserves to be read, but even without that episode this is a book of unusual events and it deserves to be a classic.
Review: The Book Of Wishes And ComplaintsUser Review - Goodreads
I found it very insightful since I had very little idea what it was like to experience the day-to-day life in a socialist environment. Now I can appreciate the side of their story through Hana. It ...