In 1951 post-war Hungary, singer Katalin Varga is left to rear her child without a father. When peasant Péter Benedek comes to Budapest seeking work, he discovers, amid grim surroundings, that his untrained singing voice brings unexpected calm and joy not only to his work horse, but to Katalin’s circle of family friends. Do he and Katalin dare to hope for the future?
Engaging dialogue combines with phrases from classical and folk songs to enrich carefully crafted themes. Love, sacrifice, and hope intertwine as the developing characters reweave commitment to family and community in a threatened yet mutually valued culture.
Few North Americans have studied this part of European history, but Connally’s thorough research and vivid prose bring to life the realities that shaped Hungarian history. From the start, this page-turner will not leave its readers’ hearts untouched. Note: there is one brief scene of sexuality. (Coffeetown Press)