Triumph Street, Bucharest
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By Dov Hoenig
Bucharest, before and during World War II. Bernard Davidescou lives with his parents and his older brother on Triumph Street, in the middle of a courtyard block inhabited by a dozen Jewish families and two Christian ones.When Romania under General Ion Antonescu’s dictatorship allies itself with Hitler and invades the USSR, the Jews in Bucharest face the threat of being sent to the Nazi extermination camps, after having survived the terror of the fascist Iron Guard. However, each Sunday morning, young Bernard, age twelve, passionate about politics and history, amazes the adults in the courtyard, Jews and Christians alike, with his analysis of the political situation in Romania and the development of the war on all fronts.
Triumph Street is the story of this young man and his dreams and torments during this dark period of human history, while also chronicling a family in crisis, the discovery of sexuality and first loves, and the distraction offered by the cinema, religious searching and idealistic aspirations for a better world.
"In a publishing industry that loves to lather its debuts in frothy hype, this is one of the quiet ones. It is also one of the year's finest . . . What makes this such a rich novel is its ability to marry the darkness of world history with the colour of personal history."
Rónán Hession, The Irish Times
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