Cabbage, Strudel and Trams (Part I: Czechoslovakia)
on March 11, 2011
This is a delight tale of a young girl coming of age in Czechoslovakia, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. As told by Franta, the little voice in her head, the story comprises Vendula, her communist-minded mother, her more slightly more free-thinking father, her quirky grandparents, and a group of stalwart friends.
As the story develops, we are amused with a boy’s crush on Vendula, enchanted with her first kiss (though not with said boy), and heartsick when her crush on a fellow band-member turns out to be unreciprocated. We are proud of her for getting on stage and singing with the band despite her tremendous case of nerves and we laugh heartily at the story of how GUN, a famous department store in Moscow, sells shoes by tossing them into the crowd and then accepting payment from anyone who happens to catch a pair (correct size or not). And we even shed a tear or two at the bittersweet ending.
This is a wonderful account of growing up in Czechoslovakia in the early 1980’s and I look forward to reading Parts 2 and 3.
This was a good short read. You really feel for the main characters - Jaime in love with Parker all those years, and now Parker having feelings for Jaime that no straight man should have. And, being men, they can't talk about their feelings. The ending was sweet (as all good romances are).
Nate Carter is a buff (duh) baseball player who visits the children’s wing of the local hospital and meets the new doctor in town. Holly Bell is a workaholic who cares overly much for her patients and doesn’t have time to date. He is from a working class family; she is from a wealthy one. He plays the field, she seldom dates. But the electricity flies and the two become involved. In the ointment are an offer to play for another team across the country, threats coming from a young patient’s father, fear of commitment from him and desire for commitment from her. This may be a typical romance novel but the story is well written and had me rooting for the hero and heroine as they loved, fought and loved again.
Favorite line: “God, that little taste just makes me want more,” she breathed. “What a beast. A beautiful beast, for sure, but still a beast.” (She was talking about his Aston Martin DB9.)