Reading About Slovakia: Year of the Frog

Year of the Frog by Martin Simecka

Set in Bratislava in the early 1980s and told through the eyes of the main character, Milan, it’s a coming-of-age story that is much more than that phrase sometimes conveys.

Milan encounters the trials we all go must go through as we enter adulthood: What do I believe in? What am I going to do with my life? What does it mean to really love someone? Add to that a father imprisoned as a political dissident, a mother who is losing her grip on health and sanity, dead-end jobs, constant surveillance…but he still finds hope on his search for a deeper meaning to life.

It’s a lovely, melancholy book, and an amazing first novel for long-time journalist Martin Simecka.

Panorama of Bratislava
Panorama of Bratislava (image by Tauba via Wikimedia Commons)