This Rebel Heart

This Rebel Heart
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Release Date
April 05, 2022
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In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most--safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father's legacy that she wishes she could forget.

Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

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This Rebel Heart
(Updated: April 16, 2022)
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What worked: Lyrical, heartbreaking historical where magic and reality merge. Based on a true event, readers are transported to 1950s Budapest and meet Csilla. She lives a complacent life with her aunt, a survivor of Auschwitz, counting down the days until they can flee the country. She longs to break away from the crushing power of the Russian control of her country. She also loves the river that speaks to her.

There are metaphors throughout this engaging story. How the color is leached from not only the country but the people. How a beautiful stranger shows himself to be the angel of death. How the secrets of the dead can be revealed at difficult times but also can give someone the hope that is desperately needed. But mostly, it's the story of a young Jewish girl in Communist Hungary who digs deep down within herself to gain the courage to fight for the country she loves.

The lyrical writing gives this story heart and I couldn't help but hope for the best for Csilla and her friends.

Mesmerizing, beautifully written historical that breaks your heart while beaming hope. Totally recommend.
Good Points
1. Mesmerizing historical where magic and reality merge
2. Queer representation
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