When the Communist Party took over the government of Czechoslovakia in February 1948, every citizen faced a critical decision; cooperate or resist. Families were torn apart and loved ones became mortal enemies. Some joined the Party and became informants; others suffered persecution; a few managed to escape. Living in the shadow of the Iron Curtain, Helenka Hrushakova’s seeming fairy-tale life is disrupted by intrigue and threats of kidnapping. Through many unexpected twists and turns she struggles to distinguish between what is real and what is illusion. As relationships within her family unravel, she is faced with her own personal crisis: Will she succumb to external pressures and conform, or will she escape and find the life of freedom she longs for? This beautifully written story juxtaposes the dynamics of one woman’s desire for personal freedom, with the havoc it causes her family and her soul, against the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s forty-year journey to its Velvet Revolution and, eventually, the fall of the Iron Curtain. It poignantly protrays the universal drive of all young people to discover and express their own unique identiy apart from their parents’ control.
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