Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania
Eva Zimmermann is eight years old, and she has just discovered she is Jewish. Such is the life of an only child living in postwar Bucharest, a city that is changing in ever more frightening ways. Eva’s family, full of eccentric and opinionated adults, will do absolutely anything to keep her safe—even if it means hiding her identity from her. With razor-sharp depictions of her animated relatives, Haya Leah Molnar’s memoir of her childhood captures with touching precocity the very adult realities of living behind the iron curtain. Under a Red Sky is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"A Tree of Life Grows in Bucharest"
By Sheldon Firstenberg - January 7, 2011
I enthusiastically recommend this wonderful book that was so compelling and moving, that I wanted the book to continue past the end because I cared so much about the central characters who are beginning a new and exciting chapter in their lives. This is the story of a Jewish family struggling to survive in "Cold War" Romania in the 1950's as seen through the eyes of Eva, the child in the family. I felt like I was getting an education about Communist Romania in the context of a heroic family striving to maintain its identity in the face of relentless government pressures to conform to the ideals of the totalitarian state. Haya Leah Molnar (Eva's Hebrew Name) is truly a gifted writer. I consider her a painter as well, because Haya paints memorable pictures with her words that absorb the attention of the reader. Her pictures are connected to human emotions that are windows into our very souls. Eva's family hides her Jewish identity from her for her own protection. She... read more
Warts and All
By Susan - January 6, 2011
A perceptive and precocious young girl grows up in a house filled with adults. And what a cast of characters they are! There is Uncle Natan, who sleeps on a cot in the dining room and suddenly decides to get married (the marriage lasts about three months, with no explanations). Then there is Aunt Puica who lives with Uncle Max in a smoke-choked bedroom referred to by Grandma as the Bat Cave, spending her days reading trashy romance novels in her underwear and puffing on cigarettes. Grandma Iulia, Grandpa Yosef, Mama (once a ballerina) and Tata, a gentle man who's hardly ever home, all share the one little girl and dote on her accordingly.
Young Eva's bedroom is separated from her parents' room by only a bookcase, a thought that would send shivers down the spine of any Freudian, but somehow Eva grows up loved and astonishingly normal, with the wise head of a much older person. She knows that her menagerie of a family cherishes her deeply and would do anything for... read more
By Serena A - February 28, 2011
A great read about Communist Romania and being Jewish with the hardships and adventures from a child's perspective. Read this book even if you're just interested. It will surprise and amaze you!
This book examines the complexities of these negotiations in a particularly complicated and volatile context (Palestine) and a particularly "hot" development field (early childhood development). The ...