The Faraway Mountains - Radu Guiasu
An autobiographical historical fiction that will teach readers how it was to live under a communist dictatorship as a simple citizen
This debut work of fiction inspired by the author's life is an inspiring blend of two stories that come together seamlessly.
One story focuses on three friends, students during the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. Their adventures through the Romanian mountain wilderness and their relationship are vividly portrayed by the author, who doesn't seem to be a debut fiction writer at all.
Even though the historical part of this book is accurate, the plot doesn't focus on describing the events that shaped Romanian history but tries to make the reader discover the horrors of Ceausescu's dictatorship through the words and experiences of the characters. Their adventure intertwines with the second story, that of a young artist from Bucharest. It's a story of survival with a dash of murder mystery.
However, the tragic backdrop is not all this book is about. The author found a way to add plenty of humor to the story. It is tragic and suspenseful, but also highly entertaining, with plenty of wit and satire.
Overall, this novel has the potential to satisfy many types of readers. Is a blend of tragedy, mystery, adventure, and humor, historically accurate, and a great teaching tool for those who wondered what life was really like in communist Romania.
Review copy provided by Independent Publishers Group @ NetGalley
Publisher: Addison & Highsmith Publishers (November 7, 2023)
Hardcover: 240 pages