I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
February 15, 2022 3:17 PM - Subscribe

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force. Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.
posted by DirtyOldTown (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not quite done yet, but so far, this is fantastic. It was recommended to me by my spouse (Comrade Doll, the rare time she's on MeFi) who is a Romanian Gen Xer who lived in the time/place this story was set. The story is riveting, but the day-to-day details of what life was like in that time/place (which CD swears are unfailingly spot-on) are truly fascinating. Walking through a dark city at night because the street lamps have been turned off to save money... wild dog attacks on busy streets... needing to bribe the dentist with Kent cigarettes if you want Novocain, instead of having the dentist just kneel on your chest to hold you down...

This is an unflinching look into a hard time, not often dramatized.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

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