The harrowing yet hopeful life story of a Jewish girl’s escape from Nazis, growing up under communist oppression, and finally reclaiming her true identity.
In a narrative sweeping from WWII rural Romania to 1990s cosmopolitan Budapest, Christina Shea’s Smuggled tells the story of Eva Farkas, who loses her identity at five years old when she is spirited across the Hungarian border in a flour sack to escape the Nazis.
When Eva arrives in Romania, her aunt and uncle greet her with a startling proclamation: “Eva is dead.” Her new name is Anca Balaj and she must never speak another word of Hungarian. Living with a dangerous secret under Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romanian Communist Party, Anca meets others who are forced into hiding—an abortion doctor, a homosexual, another secret Jew. But when the Iron Curtain falls, Anca reclaims the name her mother gave her. She finally returns to Hungary, a country changing as fast as the price of bread, where her lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle.
An intimate look at the effects of history on an individual life, Smuggled is a raw and fearless account of transformation, and a viscerally reflective tale about the basic need for love without claims.