On the one hand, you have a story about 1970s and 80s communist Czechoslovakia. The book does a good job of explaining what communism meant to the locals, what happened in the area after WWII, and how it all affects a family of dissidents. Nothing youd think would be light reading.
On the other hand, this book is downright CUTE. Its very easy to read, and funny as all get out. Kids are kids no matter where they are. The book starts out with three-year-old Dominika making a pet of Mr. Carp, who lives in the bathtub, not realizing hes meant for Christmas dinner. It ends with ten-year-old Dominika putting toothpaste in her ears to keep out the earwigs. (Note to children: dont do this.)
I loved this book as an adult, and the adults I related bits and pieces to all laughed at the stories. Young people would probably also like it, although there is quite a bit of talk about breasts (goats) and the older sisters sexuality.
This memoir is a touching portrait of a family struggling economically and politically, yet persevering. The author deftly blends the fantasy life of a child with harsh reality. This is also a recollection of life under the oppression of a corrupt party system in a Soviet satellite nation. A bit of history combined with loving memories of a magical childhood.
What a wonderful memoir! This memoir is written with the ingredients of Eastern Europe under the communist rule; the hardship (under which this imaginative and creative little girl) lives with a family that is considered dissidents, and how through love and determination can conquer the what seems to be impossible to be possible. Dominika's stories will make you laugh and cry. This book is very endearing!
A great biography/memoir of a Czeck-born girl in the 70's. As the reader begins the book, he is drawn easily into the stories told & written by Dominika. She writes of her families' struggles/challenges of living in the Communist country while being dissidents.
Humor, love, pride and determination are shared by Dominika to reach her goal of becoming a ballet dancer. Read on about other adventures of Dominika and her family....
Such a good book about a little girl growing up in Communist Czecholosovakia in the 1970's and 80's. One of my new favorites but as I never reread books, it can become yours too!
Well-written, articulate and fascinating. A political memoir (the girl's family were considered dissidents) without the political explanations. Focused on real life trials and triumphs.
I love memoirs about Central/Eastern Europe so if you have any, let me know and I'll request them.
A big memoir, 370 pages. If not reading it for the challenge I'd most likely have quit it by page 50, definitely by 100. She grew up in Prague during the 70's and 80's, daughter of dissidents closely "watched" by neighbors and secret police.
I read a lot of memoirs, and I think my initial dislike of this one was due to a good portion of almost exquisite detail coming from when the author was a mere four years old. As I read, I kept thinking, this cannot be real, she is making all of this up, why didn't she just write a novel loosely based on her life? A poor reason, perhaps, for disliking a book. But there it is.
It got better as she got older though, and I came to enjoy her wacky father, put-upon mother, exhibitionist sister, and yes, at last, the precocious Dominika who was allowed to roam the neighborhood at will at this young age, entertaining the nosey neighbors with her constant chatter. Her memories are mostly funny, and never, ever, complaining, or those memoir-common woe-is-me tales. Dominika loved her family, her town, and the full childhood she lived behind the Iron Curtain. Although the wrong "body size and type" for a ballerina, she was accepted into the National Theater Ballet Company, mostly based on her ballsy Swan Lake improv dance, a tribute to her personality and drive.
So, had it been a novel, I'd have enjoyed it more, but once I got past my own feelings about it, and page 200, I enjoyed it. Recommended? Yes.
excellent read! loved the whole story and characters!
Enjoyed this look at life in a Warsaw Pact country!
I enjoyed the stories in the this and it left me wanting more.