Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.
This week’s excellent read is a historical biographical novel called No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon Rushton.
A good book is aboiut the writer’s craft and in equal measure enjoyment for the reader. This book has it all!
Here is the description of No Paved Road to Freedom from Amazon:
No Paved Road To Freedom is a gripping and emotional story that humanizes the impact of communist occupation in Romania after World War II. It is relevant, it inspires, and it reminds us that freedom is precious. Based on a true story, it documents the loss of freedom, and the extraordinary courage of Cornel Dolana and his family as they pay an incredible price for resisting communism. Cornel makes up his mind to escape the oppression and uses his ingenuity to put his plan in place. His fortitude keeps him moving toward his goal, despite enduring enormous setbacks, brutality, and extreme outdoor elements that few humans could survive.
What makes No Paved Road to Freedom a good read?
Pulled into the Story
A great book sucks you into the characters, the setting, the story (aka plot). No Paved Road to Freedom does just that!
Based on a true story, it would not be possible for anyone to remember all the conversations they’ve had that contribute to the telling, yet Rushton makes you feel you’re right there with Cornel through his life.
Imagine you’re a youngster, the child of farmers. A new government takes over and now your family is told their cows should be able to find their own owners. Then they come take away your livestock and kill your pet dog. And that’s just the beginning.
The government later insisted upon certain harvest days that did not correspond to the reality of what was happening with the crops. The resulting food scarcity kept the people at the edge of starvation.
And if anyone said or did any little thing that went against the Official View, they could be beaten, imprisoned, even killed.
It’s such a different life than most of us have ever lived. Rushton writes so well I felt I was right there with Cornel Dolana and his family
Imagine school children reading this book and having a much deeper understanding of life under a restrictive government. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
A Road of Trials
Cornel Dolana could not be satisfied with oppression, and this book reveals his trials and tribulations along that road. He found ways to sneak morsels of bread and secret them to nourish him along the way. And yet, his first attempts failed miserably.
A story based on someone’s life means countless hours of interviews, historical research, and often, pain. Cornel Dolana had to relive his story of being hungry, frozen, imprisoned, fearful for his life, and much more. No easy road to tell that tale.
Rushton wrote in the notes at the end of the book: “Mimi (Cornel’s wife) told me nightmares plagued Cornel after our interview sessions.” I am not surprised.
Sharon Rushton said the book may be turned into a movie, and it would be a good one, full of interesting characters, thrills and chills. I would also love to see this book taught in schools so children may know a more personal side of oppression and the fight for freedom.
Buy No Paved Road to Freedom on Amazon
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Book Review: Biographical Historical Novel No Paved Road to Freedom by Sharon Rushton