The Prince's Boy - An Opinion

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The Prince's Boy cover.pngI just finished reading it this morning and I felt I had to post a good review somewhere. I am not sure what this means, but I didn't feel comfortable adding my recommendation of this book to my Pinterest list or Facebook without explaining that the story includes a young man's discovery of his homosexuality, though that is definitely not the main leg of the story. I hope that doesn't say anything negative about me, though I fear it might. However, I do know that some of my hetero friends are not willing to read love stories about homosexuals, so that is why I feel compelled to explain.

The book is about, above everything, love in the late 20's and 30's, a time when Bucharest Romania was called "Little Paris". Having only known Romania in it's years long after this, I found the small details and delicate exchanges between characters of each culture incredibly fascinating.  Author, Paul Bailey chooses his words carefully. His lead character, Dinu, is a realist who has met the love of his life in a brothel. He is surrounded by geniuses and, unknown to him, their wit and wisdom strengthen his mind and mold him into a hero.

Europe was changing rapidly at this time. My favorite lines from this story are the glimpses into the minds of those who lived thru Hitler and his "green shirted men". 

Prince's companions aside, this book confirmed my belief that Bucharest was one of the most passionate, exciting cities in the world at one time. It's production of writers, poets, voices, composers and artists is not only comparable to Paris, but possibly more impressive considering all the political unrest is has endured. 

If you enjoy Romania or Paris, you may enjoy reading about those places thru the eyes of Dinu. I definitely did.

Favorite quotes:

"We said what we hoped would be a temporary farewell on platform 4. I was weeping and so was he. We Romanians cry easily. It is our national gift, to weep for our sorrows."

"Romania had forsaken her decadent past in favor of equality....One of the most enduring cliche's came to mind: it was all 'too good to be true' .

"What need of the mischievous and undoubting bible when there was Shakespeare to remind us of our transience, our joys, our hopelessness, the fragile concerns of our fragile lives? He offers us nothing more than the certainty of our own uncertainties, and that is surely enough to contemplate."

"Great poetry has the power to deepen our awareness of the transience of life. It takes an inordinate amount of literary courage to write with delicacy, and that is what Vaduva did. "

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