Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.
When I heard Ruta Sepetys was coming out with another book, I was so eager to get my hands on it. I even pre-ordered a copy because I didn’t want to wait for my local library to get it in and processed. I Must Betray You wasn’t at all what I expected since it’s not quite like her other books (which makes sense since it’s about a different time and place than her other stories). But it does what her other books do: it sheds light on a part of history I’ve never even heard about.
The first two-thirds blew my mind because I have absolutely zero knowledge about Romania during its communist era. Really I don’t know much about any of the communist European countries and their revolutions during this era. I know a little about East Berlin and that’s it. But wow, the stuff people went through less than forty years ago. Incredible. Tragic. Mind-blowing.
But then things started rolling in the story and it was so intense and scary. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know who Cristian could trust. It felt so real and raw. It is real and raw. This is what the Romania people went through for decades. It’s frightening and made me think and wonder, in a revolution, where would I be standing?
I’d like to say I’d be standing in the crowd of protesters. Standing when all hell breaks loose. Standing for my rights and freedoms. But it’s scary. It’s dangerous. I don’t know if I can say that I would.
If more people in America read books like this, if more people in America learned about what other countries have gone through, I think they’d complain a lot less about what they don’t have and would be a lot more grateful for what they do have.
As always, I’m grateful and awed that Ruta continues to shed light on unknown or buried over overlooked stories. I love that I’m able to learn through her books, her characters, her writing. This book gave me goosebumps and chills. It made me think. It made my heart race. It made me want to learn more. It did everything that I want in a historical fiction novel.