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To Romania With Love Paperback – 31 May 2012


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To Romania With Love + Never Mind the Balkans, Here's Romania + Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania
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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books (31 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704372576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704372573
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'To Romania With Love is more than a snapshot of a strange country at a strange time; it is a vivid, impressionistic hymn to exuberance, of risks taken, of impulses acted upon. Humming with energy, it is at once touching and funny; a rare, brave and honest account of finding love and holding on to it' --Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph

'Tessa is a compelling writer and an equally compelling heroine: a young woman torn between her ambition and her love, between her sense of tradition and her extremely unconventional nature. An extraordinary achievement' --Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Oscar-Winning Director of The Lives of Others

'Fiercely honest, this story of love across a continent, from one end
of Europe to the other, is all the more compelling because it is true' --Professor Alice Roberts, TV Presenter and Author

'A unique and unusual love story, strikingly told, To Romania With Love is a moving account of an impetuous British girl and her love for a young boy and his beleaguered country' --Hugo Vickers, Biographer and Historian

About the Author

Tessa Dunlop was born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, and studied Modern History at Oxford. She became a broadcaster in the late 90s, and has since fronted history documentaries for Discovery, BBC, and American History Channel. She's currently presenter/historian on BBC2's Coast. She's written for the Times, Guardian, Independent and Mail, and is finishing a Masters at Sheffield Hallam University where her research subject is Queen Marie of Romania. To Romania With Love is her first book. She juggles her time between London, Scotland and Romania.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Clare la Terriere on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book! So well written and the fact that is a true story made it all the more enjoyable to read! Was captivated from the very first page! Cannot recommend it enough!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hilary Siobhan on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is not only a stark reminder of the history of Romania, but also how the West (represented by Tessa)wants to change things for the good.
Loved the honesty, and laughed out loud. It could be a novel, but made better by the fact it was a true.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Yellerbelly on 12 Jun 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this because I was looking for something a little different from the sort of escapist fiction that I generally read and because I recognised the author's name. Around about the year 2000, I was going through a particularly black period and often found it impossible to sleep. Tessa Dunlop, at that time, presented an overnight radio programme which kept me company through many long nights. I never phoned-in that I can recall but would lie in the dark, participating vicariously in other peoples' lives. Remembering how that programme helped me to retain my sanity, plus a curiosity about what Tessa Dunlop had been doing in the intervening years, seemed good enough reasons to buy the book.

I can't say I enjoyed the early chapters; the author's description of working in a Romanian orphanage pulls no punches but her writing style and honesty kept me reading. It's straightforward and factual and yet, and yet, ghastly as it was, still she wanted to return to Romania.

The subsequent story of her return and her meeting with the Toma family and her involvement in their lives is almost painfully honest. There were moments when I felt quite uncomfortable as I read the section where a woman in her mid-20s realises that she is falling for a 17-year old. Why should I feel this way? I don't know, but I had to remind myself that, if the age-difference were reversed, I wouldn't give it a thought. As I read on, the discomfort faded and I found myself rooting for Vlad and Tessa, wanting them to make their relationship work, longing for a happy ending.

I know a little more about Romania now than I did before.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Davies on 19 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
Tessa Dunlop has bravely and sensitively laid bare much of her personal life to produce a touching story of love against the odds. Her romance with a young Romanian student transcends the barriers of Geography and sharply contrasting cultures and backgrounds and is the direct antithesis of the usual 'boy next door' romantic story.
Beautifully written and hard to put down, both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her very personal tale and would not hesitate in recommending it to others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clono on 17 Jun 2012
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What a wonderfully refreshing read: a brave and honest account of a real love story which is all the richer for its imperfections and the obstacles Tessa and Vlad had to overcome. Tessa writes beautifully, weaving history and humour into her story - I was captivated from the start!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gamma mummy on 29 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed with this book. I did not find the quality of the writing to be as good as some reviewers and I did not feel that the author managed to effectively engage the reader with the story or the characters. There is a gem of a story in there, but I had not been drawn in enough to care. It was clear from relatively early on how the book would end, but I felt I was being dragged through the details and the I did not get the sense of the overwhelming power of Love that the title alludes to.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kate on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
An amazing story, told by a brave and feisty young woman, about how she met her husband. This is a personal and revealing account of a most unlikely love story. Tessa is an irresistible force, full of energetic confidence and yet she is disarmingly self critical. She writes with a wonderful freshness and openness. I loved the book and recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MalcolmT on 24 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At the recent London Book Fair I joined a crowd listening to a live interview. I recognised the face and voice of the broadcaster Tessa Dunlop, and stopped to listen. She was speaking passionately and animatedly about a subject she clearly knew a lot about: Romania. I dredged up my own knowledge of that nation, and found it could be expressed in just two sentences: it had been a Warsaw Pact country under the control of a Stalinist monster called Ceauşescu, who created the most grotesque police state in Eastern Europe (no small feat). He was executed following the collapse of the Iron Curtain, at which point western television audiences began to see harrowing images of neglected orphans disowned by the state. Most of us simply shuddered and hoped that someone would care for them; Ms Dunlop decided to go there and work in one of the orphanages. The result of her travels is a book entitled To Romania With Love. Having listened to her speak for a few minutes, I knew I had to read it.

For an author to win my trust, they must first show me (preferably on the first couple of pages), that irrespective of content, they can use language well. This was quickly achieved, here's an early paragraph:

"I didn't sleep that night. Instead I tasted small country apples, learnt please, thank you and I want in Romanian and pocketed several random addresses that all looked the same. I thrilled an old woman with a Murray Mint. Her naked guns contorted with joy and for a brief second she was a child again. I talked all night with no language; soon I was showing a young woman the contents of my bag. I held up a box of Tampax. She nodded sagely and pocketed two wrapped tampons as souvenirs.
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