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UNDER A RED SKY by Haya Leah Molner Kirkus Star

UNDER A RED SKY

Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania

By Haya Leah Molner

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-31840-6
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

In this rich, insightful memoir, Molnar offers a child’s-eye view of life in Romania in the late 1950s. Known as Eva Zimmerman then, she lived in a crowded but loving Bucharest home that included her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They are a lively, eccentric bunch brought vividly to life in a simple first-person, present-tense narration. Especially endearing is Eva’s relationship with her grandfather, who encourages her to embrace her Jewish heritage. Her cinematographer father, a survivor of several concentration camps who lost his parents to the Holocaust, is haunted by his experiences. Eva learns from her grandmother the complicity of Romania’s World War II fascist regime in the murder of thousands of Jews. With anti-Semitism still pervasive in Communist Romania, Eva keeps her Jewish identity secret from classmates when she begins school. The author vividly depicts the harsh realities of life under fascist rule: scarcity of food and housing, ideological indoctrination in school and constant fear of the Securitate, the secret police who are always watching and listening. Black-and-white family photographs illustrate this poignant, memorable memoir. (Memoir. 10-14)