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Reviewed by Fiza Pathan for Readers' Favorite
For the Children: A Cold War Escape Story by Geza Tatrallyay is a suspenseful biography of the author’s family’s escape or odyssey first to Austria and then to Canada from Hungary, in the crucial year of 1956. For the Children is a rich book of historical facts of the dangers that a family during those troubled times underwent just to escape from a claustrophobic political and social environment…all for the love of their children. Tatrallyay’s mother and father wanted a better life for their three children and so decided to leave their native land of Hungary, which was so dear to them, to travel to a foreign land to start afresh. For the Children is a biography of courage, determination and tenacity even during the most awful situations. It is one of the best books of a grand escape during the Cold War years that I have ever read.
Tatrallyay also weaves into his narrative a bit of history of the political situation of that era, which makes it more informative. I highly recommend For the Children to all students of history and political science who are studying the times and conditions of the lives of everyday citizens in Europe after the Second World War. Tatrallyay’s book is engaging and impressive, I simply could not put it down. The narrative is gripping. The characters are the cornerstones of this biography. Their courage and willpower, especially that of Tatrallyay’s mother, are extraordinary and out of this world. The descriptions are graphic and the book is a real page turner. It tends to seep under your skin and suddenly you feel that you are the one trying to escape the tyranny of a communist power, which looms in the background of the biography like a cobra. Tatrallyay is an intellectual writer and meticulous in his work. It is remarkable to me to believe what he had to go through at the age of seven to get out of his own homeland alive. This biography is a must-read.