A Luminous Future

Rated 5.00/5 based on 21 reviews
The Second World War is over but the lives of the inhabitants of Lupoaia (Valley of the Wolves), a little village in Transylvania, are thrown into turmoil with the imposition of drastic, senseless changes by a new regime, intent on creating a new man for a new society. The new totalitarian government threatens to eliminate the Flonta family by declaring Teodor's father an 'enemy of the people.' More

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About Teodor Flonta

I grew up in a little village in Transylvania listening to stories which were often sprinkled with proverbs and idioms. My father would frequently make use of proverbs, more so when hardships imposed on him by the Communist regime reached unbearable heights. Not being allowed to study Commerce (Foreign Trade), on the account of my ‘unhealthy social origin’, I went on to study foreign languages and discovered that my father’s proverbs had equivalents in many of them. As a student I used to pair and memorize them and that helped me improve my vocabulary and reinforce the basic linguistic structures of the language I studied at the time. By a fortunate set of circumstances I was able to leave Communism behind and lived in Italy for a few years. In 1978 I settled in Australia where I got a PhD on a topic close to my heart – have a guess! – yes… proverbs… and found myself teaching in a university. In 1995, with contributions from many academics from around the world – the first among them Prof. Wolfgang Mieder, the top scholar in the field – I founded De Proverbio (www.deproverbio.com), the world's first multilingual electronic journal of proverb studies. Issues of De Proverbio can be found in many ebook stores. So, it seems, that my involvement with proverbs is never going to stop. I have just published some of my bilingual and multilingual dictionaries in digital form and there are more to come.

Having lived for long periods of time in three countries, I have had many jobs. In Romania I was a Teacher in a Middle School at the tender age of 17 years and 8 months (yes, as the Communists had dispensed with many teachers and professionals of the old guard – considered enemies – they ran short of people in the professions and therefore were compelled to use High School leavers like me), a Translator, a Radio Announcer in Italian at Radio Bucharest International; in Italy I started as a Translator in a Patent Office, then moved on to become a Personnel Officer and later an Accountant in a Construction Company; in Australia I was more lucky, as I started with being a student and a University Tutor at the same time, then moved on to head the Italian section at the University of Tasmania.

Now I am retired and live in the beautiful island of Tasmania with my Italian wife Ariella. Our two sons and their families live close by. When I am not spending time with my cute and vivacious grandchildren, I keep busy working on a series of memoirs. The first, which is now published, is about my early years in Lupoaia (literal translation: ‘Valley of the Wolves’), my little Transylvanian village. The memoir’s title is ‘A Luminous Future’ and is available in kindle at amazon.com.

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Reviews

Review by: Irene Adam on Oct. 12, 2014 :
I received this book as an ebook free from the author through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This is the most incredible book that I’ve read related to this time period of Communism in Russia and the European countries that are part of the Russian Empire. I find Communism a very interesting economic system of government compared to our system of government in the USA. I am so thankful that I live in the USA, “The land of the free.” Teodor was very fortunate that he had such a caring, loving, and supportive family while being viciously and cruelly mistreated in the name of Communism to achieve “a luminous future.” There is a very sad, serious, and scary aspect to this book but the author also lets us see some lighthearted and funny moments in his life. Despite all of the injustice he endured Teodor’s life is a success story. The pictures of Teodor and his family at the end were wonderful. This book really made me think and I was very impressed by Teodor’s insight, grit, and stamina. Let us not take our freedoms for granted and let us never forget the brutal injustices that many others have suffered.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Didda Einars on Sep. 14, 2012 : (no rating)
Yes, this book was really worth reading. It gives us a insight into the live behind the Iron curtain which we all knew nothing about.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carla Biggins on July 02, 2012 :
This would be a great book to have read in college or even high school as it really humanizes the effects of communism, not just tells about it in a matter of fact way. Textbooks talk about “farmers” and “peasants” and “workers”, but we never really connect with them as “people” – people like us. That is what struck me most about this book, was that Teodor, his mother and father, his grandparents, his friends, neighbors, etc…any one of them was just like us. Like me. Like you. From the mischievous actions of a school boy, to the first loves, to the stress and strain of a family under constant scrutiny— so many things that we can all relate to, yet so many extraordinary things that most of us will never have to face. The endurance and struggles the family goes through was so beautifully written I admit I had tears in my eyes more than once. And I was sad to see the end, but loved looking at the lovely faces from the past, ones I’d forged a connection with. I cannot recommend this book enough, I’ll be singing its praises to whomever will listen. Thank you so much for writing this amazing book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brenda Maxwell on July 01, 2012 :
An exceptional story...
Earlier today, I was making plans for our annual Fourth of July BBQ party. Tonight, I am writing down my impressions of the incredibly moving, “A Luminous Future” by Dr. Teodor Flonta. How are these two related? Well, I think so many people in my position take our freedoms for granted, even if we think we don’t. As I prepare to celebrate my country’s Independence Day, I am struck by the fact that not only are many others denied the same freedoms we enjoy, but that they can be so viciously and cruelly mistreated in the name of a political faction. If I was being honest with myself, would I have had the strength and courage as Teodor Flonta and his family if I was in their shoes? I honestly don’t know. And that is why I was so impressed with this book and so moved by their actions. I have a feeling this story will stay with me for a long time, and I’ve already given it to my oldest daughter to read (she’s in college). Thank you for sharing this marvelous story with the world, and God Bless you and your lovely family!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jhonni Parker on June 30, 2012 :
This book was incredible!
"A Luminous Future" by Teodor Flonta is a narrative autobiography/memoir that recants his early life in Transylvania. I admit that a book such as this is outside my normal “comfort zone” for reading, and I wasn’t entirely convinced that I would be all that interested in it. I decided to try 1 or 2 chapters, just so I could say I tried it. Well, am I glad I did! Not only did I absolutely LOVE it, I think this is the best book I’ve read all year! The problem I always have when trying to learn about history or other cultures is that is seems really dry, or presented in a way that I can’t connect to. In this book I immediately felt like I was not only a part of the story, but a part of this wonderful family. I felt like I was Teodor, and was really experiencing life the way he did. I can’t believe how amazing this book was, and I read it in two nights (a record for me). It was PERFECTLY edited, something that is really rare in self-published books. So I give the author much credit for the professionalism in which he displayed in the publication of this novel. In my opinion it was well worth every cent and I highly recommend it to others, even if it’s not your typical read. Try it, you might be surprised. And you might learn something.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cale Owens on June 25, 2012 :
"A Luminous Future” starts off in a small village named Lupoaia with the Securitate (police) coming to take Flonta Pavel away as his young son and wife watch helplessly. The mom unfortunately suffers a miscarriage, and it is noted that the phrase “you are coming with us” will become a recurring theme in this book. As it was, and the father is deemed a CHIABUR, an “enemy of the people”. No, he wasn’t killing people or even hurting them…under the communist regime he was considered an enemy because he was “rich” (rich being used very loosely here). He had 2 people that worked for him a few months of the year, therefore in the eyes of the communist government he was some sort of tycoon. Crazy! So many times while reading this book I found myself shaking my head in disbelief or lifting my jaw up off the floor because it was so incredible. But there were also times that I laughed and smiled and genuinely felt the emotions of the characters. I think the grandpa Toderea was my favorite, but they were all amazing and wonderfully drawn. I am very pleased that their story was told and I hope others read and find enjoyment in it like I have.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: James Masters on June 24, 2012 :
This memoir “A Luminous Future” starts off with a bang, and instantly we are thrust into a world in the past where a young boy watches helpless as his father is dragged off into the night. The next chapter is dated over fifty years later, as that same young man is now celebrating the birth of his own grandson. The magic in this story lies in what happened during those fifty years, and how one young boy grew up in the shadows of communism and how that shaped his existence. In a way, this biography serves to pull back the iron curtain a bit, so as to experience the life under Stalin’s regime. It is strangely at odds with itself on many levels, and that in of itself is the paradox of communism. For example, the government gets mad and harasses people who work hard, saying that they are “exploiting” others, yet that is what they themselves are doing. They set these impossible goals for the workers to reach, and when they can’t they are punished even more. It’s frightening to read how a tyrannical government can influence the lives of its most vulnerable citizens, but despite it all, Teodor Flonta is such a success story on many levels. It’s almost like he singlehandedly defeated Stalin and his comrades, only because he never allowed them to beat him, and lived to tell this glorious tale. This is definitely one of those “don’t miss” books that belongs on every shelf.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cory Banyan on June 22, 2012 :
Now that I have finished reading “A Luminous Future” by Teodor Flonta, I’m wondering what took me so long to read it in the first place! It came highly recommended to me by a trusted friend of mine, but even so I kept reading other books in its place. Finally, one night I clicked on the opening chapters intending to only read a few pages that evening. Imagine my surprise when the next thing I knew I was almost 60% of the way done, and no intention of stopping until I had reached the end! I felt almost physically pulled into this strange, yet familiar world, and refused to leave until I saw and heard all there was to experience. Sometimes this story was scary, sometimes sad. Sometimes profound, sometimes lighthearted and funny. I loved every page and cannot recommend it higher. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it, but am glad I finally did. It was a brilliantly written and moving tale, one I won’t likely soon forget.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Nicole Hastings on June 22, 2012 :
I can’t remember a time in recent history where I’ve literally wanted to ((((hug)))) the characters in a book I’m reading, but that is what “A Luminous Future” did to me! (Weird, I know). I want to give Teodor’s mother and father hugs for being so brave and having so much courage and sticking by their convictions. I want to give schoolboy Teodor a hug for the times he was discriminated against simply because his father had been given a bad rap. I won’t recap the whole plot, but the storyline revolves around Teodor’s life growing up in a small town in Transylvania after the end of WW II but where communism is still alive and well and dictators still control the lives of people. It’s terrifying and enlightening to read how the government can exert so much control over its people’s lives, and the people have no choice but to do what they are told. I don’t love the politicians here in USA, but I’m not afraid that they are going to bang down my door in the middle of the night and take my father away. Or continually arrest him because he is a hard worker. I know the world has come a long way and we tend to forget our history, it seems, once it has passes. This book is great to remind us of the past and be aware of what is out there so that it doesn’t happen again.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Steph Coleman on June 21, 2012 :
"A Luminous Future” has a shocking and powerful opening that tugs at the heartstrings, and doesn’t let up until the final pages. I was emotionally captivated by the story of Teodor Flonta’s life and the hardship his family is forced to endure, but I was especially moved the love and support his family showed to each other! I especially loved his dad! The whole time he was being messed with by the “Securitate” (the Romanian Secret Police) I was really worried something horrible would happen and he wouldn’t come home. I think I even held my breath during a few of those frightening scenes The author Teodor Flonta (who’s life this story is about) did a brilliant job of creating tension and describing a world where you never feel 100% safe...there are always threats and dangers lurking around every turn. They all felt so real that I felt like I was a part of the family as I was reading along, and I was sad to see it end. But I really loved the pictures at the end! If you are reading on your Kindle make sure to keep going even after the text is done because there are some wonderful images of Teodor and his family there!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Darla Ortiz on June 20, 2012 :
The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like I was part of something really special. Now that I have finished, I feel so privileged to have met these characters, if only by reading about them. They truly came alive on the pages and through the words of Mr. Flonta. I especially loved that this book is based on someone’s real life who isn’t famous and talking about their fame or latest drug addictions. This book is real…it’s about what is really real, and what really matters. It gives a grand view of life that is so different from what we may be used to, yet we can totally relate to at the same time. I loved all the characters, but in particular, I thought Teodor’s mother and father were simply amazing, and I found myself rooting for them and supporting the father from the very beginning. The stories moved me in a way that I didn’t expect at all, and I’m thankful for having read this book. You should too!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jenna Brewster on June 20, 2012 :
Sometimes you can read a book, and the topics may be interesting, but the writing really isn’t all that great. Sometimes you can read a book that is exquisitely written, but the storyline is kinda ho-hum. But it is extremely rare to come across a book that is both flawless in its execution, and also riveting to the point of being crazy addicting – and this is exactly how I thought “A Luminous Future” by Teodor Flonta was. It was stylistically near perfect, with great pacing and an always-advancing storyline that touched on a wide range of topics and events. The characters and descriptions were well-rounded and vivid, and I truly felt transported to 1950’s Transylvania, experiencing life through young Teodor’s eyes. It really helped to broaden my perspectives and opened my mind to a new world I’d only thought about in passing, if at all. Highly recommend to everyone.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: April Dawn on June 12, 2012 :
What an amazing story! I still have goosebumps on my arm even after I’m done reading! Sad, yet heart-warming at the same time. The story goes much deeper than any stuffy old history or text book ever could. It really shows you what life was like for a boy/young man (Teodor Flonta) living in uncertain times in a pivotal point in history. One thing that really struck me was the frequent mention of the phrase “a luminous future” throughout the book. It is used almost ironically to push the regimes agenda on its people and force them to be its slaves while basically telling them it’s all for the promise of a luminous future…which of course it is not. But the magic of this story is that our main character manages, despite all odds, to really HAVE a luminous future…and live a life anyone should be proud of. I really loved this novel and think it deserves the highest of praise. Make sure you keep clicking all the way to the end or you will miss out on the beautiful pictures of some of the people in the book!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jesse Thomas on June 09, 2012 :
Great book about life in a Romanian village under communist rule. History buffs will get a kick out of all the details and descriptions that only could be given by someone who really experienced these events first hand, and the way the author expresses the different ways the fascist dictatorships affected various lives. When we study Communism and its effects in school, we only think of the submissive workers united under a totalitarian government. We don’t think about the young boy who is denied his proper praise for doing a job well done in classes, because his father had the audacity to hire on a few men. It’s this humanizing of a way of life many of us can never fully understand is what makes this such a powerful and brilliant book. You owe it to yourself to read and experience this incredibly sad, loving, and uplifting world for yourself.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Claire Middleton on June 04, 2012 :
I don’t know what I loved most about this book, as I was totally enraptured from the moment the secret police were banging on the door to take young Teodor’s father away, to the final, beautiful and emotional passage where everything comes full circle. What an AMAZING life Teodor Flonta has experienced! I am so happy I read this story, as it makes me appreciate my life and upbringing even that much more. Not that I feel sorry for Mr. Flonta…not in the least. Obviously his experiences shaped him into the man he is and led him exactly to where he is now. I have to say that I love his wife’s name (Ariella) and may use it one day :-) and I think, no, I KNOW his father is proud of him for telling his story in such a loving and brilliant way. Thank you for sharing this with me. I hope others read it and benefit as well.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Mark Williams on June 02, 2012 :
“A Luminous Future” is the nonfiction story by Teodor Flonta that starts in 1951 in Transylvania where his father is taken away and arrested in the middle of the night by the Securitate. His father was deemed an “enemy of the people”, and throughout the novel we see how that affects Teodor and his life. This is a powerful true tale of living under a Communist regime, and the taxing effects it has on those who dare oppose The Party. What I liked the most was the way Mr. Flonta made history come alive and eloquently express his perception of a world many of us find foreign, but fascinating. The stories made me feel like I was really there and seeing the world through his eyes, which is much better than just reading about it in a history book. It was excellently written with a graceful prose and sweeping narrative that had me totally hooked.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Decker on June 02, 2012 :
This book made me laugh, cry, ponder a different time and place in history many people only now give a passing thought to in history classes. So totally transported I was to this world Mr. Teodor Flonta writes of, I found myself getting emotional (ANGRY!) at the way he was treated in school, worried every time they came for his dad, happy when he moves to Italy and finds his lovely wife, and shedding a tear as he celebrated the birth of his own grandchild. My absolute favorite line- “Here I was, not yet one day old, as squashed and dazed as any other newborn, and ready for school”. HA! What a moving story and one that I most highly recommend. There’s only the mildest of language and sex (nothing more than pg, pg13) and I think people of all ages would benefit from reading this book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Karen Matthews on June 01, 2012 :
It will be hard for me to condense into a paragraph all the ways I think this book is phenomenal… It really is something you have to experience for yourself! But I am still shaking my head at the fact that not only is English not Mr. Flonta’s first language, nor his second, but his third. (This was mentioned at the acknowledgements at the end). Consider my mind blown! This was one of the best written novels I’ve come across of late, with absolutely flawless grammar and beautiful sentences bordering on poetic. Mr. Flonta made potentially slow scenes come alive with an expressive, yet subtle manner of writing that made me feel like I was listening to stories from a good friend…stories that took me away to another time and place. Definitely recommend anyone who enjoys a moving story, and even better ones that are based on truth!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sophia Renee on June 01, 2012 :
Wow. Just…wow. One of the reasons why I love reading nonfiction, especially biographies and autobiographies is that they allow me to experience a life and a world that I never would otherwise. As a girl who has lived her whole life in California, USA, reading about a boy from a small village in Transylvania after the end of WWII is about as different as can be. It’s crazy to hear how hard it was for him growing up, but the thing is he never sounds like he’s complaining at all! It seems like it would have been so easy for Teodor to become angry and bitter, but instead he perseveres with a quiet determinism and inner strength that is reflective of his parents’ and family’s values. If there’s anything to be taken from this amazing book, it’s that no matter how scary and cruel life can be, as long as you have the love and support of your family you can make it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Kaylee Stevens on May 31, 2012 :
Teodor Flonta’s father is declared a “chiabur” and enemy of the people, and is constantly being imprisoned and tortured for working harder than others and having more land. Wow. Talk about an eye-opener! We are so used to living in a time and place where these traits are rewarded, to think of growing up in where it is punished…yet people continue to do it anyways…it’s so incredibly sad but inspiring at the same time. Teodor ‘s (the narrator) father is so brave, and it’s obvious that this story is a testament to his memory and the legacy of courage and convictions he instilled in his son. I loved the part when they said how Stalin had died and they were supposed to be sad and hang their flags low. But Teodor and his friends were happy and celebrated…they still retained the ability to think for themselves and know what was right and wrong despite the attempts to coerce their way of thinking. There is much to be admired in this book, and I thank Mr. Flonta for taking the time and (painstaking) effort to do it, and I thank him for letting me experience a bit of his extraordinary life. It was truly unforgettable.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Anabella Johnson on May 31, 2012 :
What an exceptionally amazing and beautiful book! I would have never thought judging by the cover (yeah, I know we aren’t supposed to do that!) what a rich, moving, and incredibly informative story awaited me. Teodor’s story is absolutely fascinating and told in a way that had me deeply invested from the very start. I knew next to nothing about communism (other than the fact that it’s bad), but this book showed me what it was really like to live with it, and how all it does is try to crush the human spirit. Despite this, Teodor’s family (especially his father but also his mother) remain strong and true to themselves, in spite of the constant harassment. Teodor’s father is a hero and it is obvious there is much love there. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Everyone should read it. Five big stars!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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