Ioana Pârvulescu: Viața începe vineri (Life Begins On Friday)

The latest addition to my website is Ioana Pârvulescu‘s Viața începe vineri (Life Begins On Friday). This is an unusual Romanian novel as it is not grim. A coachman in Bucharest in December 1897 finds, separately, two men in the snow. The first, Dan Kretzu/Crețu, is disorientated and, for the course of the book, does not seem to know why he is there and where he is from. The other man has been shot but is still alive, though will die not long afterwards. Chief of Public Security, Costache Boerescu investigates while we follow a host of other characters in Bucharest, some of whom become involved in the plot. Dan gets a job as a journalist, still looking and feeling out of place, Costache uncovers a murky plot, involving lots of people, Iulia Margulis writes her diary, starting on a Friday and worries about her love life and eight-year old Nicu struggles to make a living and look after his mentally ill mother. It is a very enjoyable story, with various plot twists and a vivid portrait of 1897 Bucharest.

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