BookView Review: When I was Better by Rita Bozi

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Publication Date: June 19, 2022

Publisher: Atmosphere Press 

List Price: $24.99 US paperback

ISBN-13:  9781639883646

Genre: Historical Fiction

Language: English

Page Count: 554

Author interview

Set against the backdrop of a world enveloped in the chaos of political unrest, Bozi’s debut is a riveting, complex tale of one couple’s journey of love and endurance. Trying to dodge the authorities, István leaves his wife and infant behind and leaves for Austria, eventually making his way to Canada. When his wife finally arrives in Canada, it’s been seven years and the distance between the couple has grown. Bozi skillfully blends plausibility with historical truth and weaves in an engrossing story. Her imaginative spin on István’s harrowing journey from Budapest, Hungary, to an Austrian refugee camp and then finally to Winnipeg, Canada, is well realized. The narrative remains gripping, and the realistic, utterly convincing characters immediately draw the reader into their problem. Deeper worldbuilding and exploration of the characters’ motivations deepen the story. Bozi’s assured narrative paints a convincing day-to-day picture of the early twentieth-century, immersing readers into the stark realities of the Russian occupation of Hungary, the Hungarian Revolution, and the wide-spread civil unrest that took over the nation. Meticulously researched and brilliantly executed, this is a stunner.


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