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My New Romanian Life

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Eighteen year-old Elena Mitulescu's life demanded that she seek beauty in those things most others perceive as mundane. Her beginnings within communist Romania had ordained a life of oppression and put her destitute family under watch by an abusive regime. But where others might submit to a tyrant and lend themselves to a cycle of corruption, Elena had no plans to forfeit Eighteen year-old Elena Mitulescu's life demanded that she seek beauty in those things most others perceive as mundane. Her beginnings within communist Romania had ordained a life of oppression and put her destitute family under watch by an abusive regime. But where others might submit to a tyrant and lend themselves to a cycle of corruption, Elena had no plans to forfeit her life. Since her earliest memories, she had wanted to be a physician and dedicate herself to the nation's impoverished orphanage residents. But even that noble goal came under duress from governing officials who threatened to extinguish a life's work of planning. Beyond these battles with authority, Elena's family offered their own challenges. Her parents arose from a race that outsiders had branded as Gypsies and regulated to a gauche part of Europe's backyard. Her older brother, Stefan, had left their destitute homestead to find a national revolution brewing within liberal Bucharest politics. But like the government authority above her, numerous personal trials couldn't contain the young Elena and her inextinguishable goal to help the unwanted children of her country. My New Romanian Life is a story of the perseverance that was needed in 1980s Romania. It was a bleak time of absolute corruption under one of the most feared dictators of the twentieth-century. The story follows that oppression through the eyes of an intelligent young woman and her unyielding desire to understand the wrongs instituted above her. Elena Mitulescu would never submit to tyranny. She would always seek a new Romanian life.


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Eighteen year-old Elena Mitulescu's life demanded that she seek beauty in those things most others perceive as mundane. Her beginnings within communist Romania had ordained a life of oppression and put her destitute family under watch by an abusive regime. But where others might submit to a tyrant and lend themselves to a cycle of corruption, Elena had no plans to forfeit Eighteen year-old Elena Mitulescu's life demanded that she seek beauty in those things most others perceive as mundane. Her beginnings within communist Romania had ordained a life of oppression and put her destitute family under watch by an abusive regime. But where others might submit to a tyrant and lend themselves to a cycle of corruption, Elena had no plans to forfeit her life. Since her earliest memories, she had wanted to be a physician and dedicate herself to the nation's impoverished orphanage residents. But even that noble goal came under duress from governing officials who threatened to extinguish a life's work of planning. Beyond these battles with authority, Elena's family offered their own challenges. Her parents arose from a race that outsiders had branded as Gypsies and regulated to a gauche part of Europe's backyard. Her older brother, Stefan, had left their destitute homestead to find a national revolution brewing within liberal Bucharest politics. But like the government authority above her, numerous personal trials couldn't contain the young Elena and her inextinguishable goal to help the unwanted children of her country. My New Romanian Life is a story of the perseverance that was needed in 1980s Romania. It was a bleak time of absolute corruption under one of the most feared dictators of the twentieth-century. The story follows that oppression through the eyes of an intelligent young woman and her unyielding desire to understand the wrongs instituted above her. Elena Mitulescu would never submit to tyranny. She would always seek a new Romanian life.

33 review for My New Romanian Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Collins

    I was looking forward to this book, but there's not a whole lot of good that I can say about it, unfortunately. First, I have to say that Vitale really would have benefited from a good editor--even beyond minor grammatical issues/typos, it's clear that he's a talented enough writer that he simply needed a second set of eyes and critique to take this book to another level, getting rid of some of those problems which I'll note below. I think this book could have been wonderful--instead, it was hard I was looking forward to this book, but there's not a whole lot of good that I can say about it, unfortunately. First, I have to say that Vitale really would have benefited from a good editor--even beyond minor grammatical issues/typos, it's clear that he's a talented enough writer that he simply needed a second set of eyes and critique to take this book to another level, getting rid of some of those problems which I'll note below. I think this book could have been wonderful--instead, it was hard to finish. The biggest problem is the self-important, too good and honorable to be true, know-it-all narrator. From the beginning, she's pretty insufferable, and it makes it hard to enjoy the whole of the book. It may be that she's meant to be a mouthpiece for the spirit of the Romanian people--in fact, I hope she is, given that that's the best defense for her being so unbelievable and unengaging--but the simple fact is that reading her perspective is tiring. For me, her voice ruined the book. All told, it's hard to know what to make of it. It does read as a memoir (though it's not), but it just doesn't hold together all that well, and doesn't have much of a conclusion. It's also incredibly predictable as far as the track of the main character goes, which doesn't help matters. It's clear that Vitale has some writing talent, but the story itself needed a good editor, and as things stand, I'm not sure I could bring myself to read more of his long work in novel-form. I finished this book only because it was a GoodReads Giveaway which I felt I should finish.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    "My New Romanian Life" by Joseph Vitale is a fascinating story of a young idealistic Romanian gypsy girl named Elena Mitulescu, living in communist ruled Romania. Elena is determined to make things better for the less fortunate in her beloved country, by becoming a doctor. The story details her struggle living in an oppressed society, and her will-power to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances. I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    I received this book as a goodreads giveaway. I lived in Romania for a time in 1994. I found it to be a beautiful yet poor country. The Romanians were a friendly , giving people and I am proud to have known them and proud to have visited their interesting country. I was told about life under communism/Ceausescu. I was shown buildings with bullet holes and told they were from the revolution. Romanians were proud of their part in ending communism in their country. "My New Romanian Life" helped me to I received this book as a goodreads giveaway. I lived in Romania for a time in 1994. I found it to be a beautiful yet poor country. The Romanians were a friendly , giving people and I am proud to have known them and proud to have visited their interesting country. I was told about life under communism/Ceausescu. I was shown buildings with bullet holes and told they were from the revolution. Romanians were proud of their part in ending communism in their country. "My New Romanian Life" helped me to see and understand more. I saw just how controlled they were and what kind of life they had during communism. I found the book easy to read and hard to put down. The author used a first person narrative of a young woman and the many hardships she and her family faced. I would recommend this book. It gives the reader insight into another culture and another government. It shows a people trapped and fighting for freedom. I will admit I cried at certain events in the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Gamez

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Rybak

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Kayani

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  8. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dolli

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary A.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donna Wetzel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barry Collins

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Edgar Connell

  20. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dad

  23. 4 out of 5

    J Collins

  24. 4 out of 5

    William Bitner Jr.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Cisneros

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna Barney

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carl

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Pouria

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Miller

  31. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  33. 4 out of 5

    Pam

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