MARIKA is a wonderful book! The central action of the story moves around two women, mother and daughter, based on the real diaries, letters and verbal history of the author’s family; the writer remarkably has been able to weave into the tale five generations of women in her own family. The reader can look behind the words to witness a gentle steeliness that is passed down from generation to generation as the women navigate social mores and family challenges in a fast-evolving world, and establish independence in adventures across Europe during peace and war — the writer unflinchingly chronicles the women’s own accounts of life during conflict, as refugees and survivors. There are entanglements, mistaken intentions, love, humour and the kindness of strangers along the way! I recommend it!
by Aria Wilson
Vivien Varga has worked as an English and Drama teacher in Warwickshire and the West Midlands and lived for several years in Bologna. Now retired, she spends her time travelling and writing. 'Marika' is her first book and was inspired by her mother's stories of her childhood and wartime experiences.