Miruna a tale by Bogdan Suceavă
Orginal title Miruna, o poveste,
Translator – Alistair Ian Blyth
Source – review copy
Well I have review a number from the Czech based publisher both review and personnel copy they always choose gems so when this book by Bogdan Suceavă a Romanian writer ,that I had vaguely heard of I thought I give it a whirl especially when it was mention to have a fairy tale element to the story .Bogdan Suceavă is a mathematician he studied at both Bucharest and the Michigan state in the US ,he currently teaches at CSU in California ,he has written number of novels and books of poetry .This book won the Bucharest writers prize when it came out there .
But Grandfather was different from the others .The evening after our parents departed and for the first time we were left in our Grandmother’s care ,I heard him telling Miruna that this was the only place where you could see time passing ,where it was never entirely frozen .
The first meeting with their Grandfather they see how different he is .
Miruna , a tale is the story of a family the two grandchildren and their grandfather ,he tells the two children many stories one of the Miruna absorbs a lot of these stories but also that ability to see things via her dreams .The grandfather weaves a world around them with the stories he tells them where real and surreal mix ,the stories try to tell the story of the last century in Romania their great grandfather that went to Greece on a ship ,mainly in the place where they live which is the Carpathian mountains .He shows them how what happened changed the world and also how they can keep themselves tied to their past .So we see the Germans come but also werewolves and giants a sort of folk tales to tell the kids what happened but without letting them see the full horrors by making them seem like fairy tales .It also showed how their village and valley had seen so many changes but also tried it hardest to stay the same .
During the summer hoildays when we were told the story of the journey to Hellas ,Miruna had a fever and her first nightmare ,Our parents were not in Evil Vale at the time when something happened that frightened her .It was that summer we learned that the encrusted face of christ can be seen on a grain of wheat .
Miruna starts seeing things in her dreams .
I loved this short book it captured a world that is fast dying and that is the one where kids listen to the grandparents tell them the oral history but also mix in fairy and folk tales .Bogdan in his after word on this book mentions in the first line how much as a youngster he loved the works of Tolkien ,I could see this as I know the main inspiration for the lord of the rings was the horrors that he had seen during the world war and use it for a cautionary tale .This book shows Romania which when you look at its history over the last hundred years has been at the centre of a lot of turbulent times so he used similar tools by mix fact and fantasy .Also it showed how some places and people don’t always want the modern world as it is and love to cling to what has been great .If you loved the books of Sjon this is one I’m sure you will love .
Have you favourite book with fairy tales ?