In the final winter of the Second World War, five-year-old Éva Farkas is hidden by her mother in a flour sack and smuggled across the Hungarian border to Romania. Her aunt and uncle rename her Anca and forbid her to speak Hungarian ever again: “Éva is dead,” she is told. As years pass, an unquenchable spirit emerges, full of passion and imagination even as a uniquely twisted brand of Communist oppression threatens to derail Anca at every turn. Though pushed to the breaking point, when the pillars of Communism finally crumble, a grown-up Anca returns to Hungary, a country changing as fast as the price of bread, to find a home and reclaim the name her mother gave her.
Told in gleaming, precise prose, SMUGGLED is a fearless and
intimate account of one woman’s transformation in the wake of violent history, and a viscerally reflective tale about the basic need for love without claims.
SMUGGLED was published in July 2011 by Grove/Atlantic and is available as an audiobook from Recorded Books.
“I’m awed by Christina Shea’s gift for telling a story that continues to matter. Through Éva, Christina Shea evokes the hidden lives of countless Jewish children. Shejuxtaposes her heroine’s resilience with half a century of Hungarian history, balancing the impact of loss and courage, of bliss and sorrow.”
—Ursula Hegi, author of Stones From The River