In this text, Romania continues to be the storyworld of the spectacular and exotic but also a topos for identity crises. Zaira’s life starts on the countryside ranch where she lives with her mother. The two women have a difficult relationship and the young daughter takes refuge in her imaginary world. It is another spectacular individual destinty that we, as readers encounter: Zaira becomes a famous pupeteer, has a first marriage that ends dramatically, lives through the beginnings of the communist regime and manages to escape to the US with a new husband that will become the stepfather to her daughter. Here, Zaira becomes not a pupateer but a famous cook in New York. The novel has a voyeristic affinity for disasters: betrayl, terror, violence and love, in all its forms. Zaira renderes two different narrative structures: there is on the one hand a topographical memory in sight (the main character remebers her life at the beginning of the novel) and on the other there are contextual and narrative knots that set off different series of events and disasters in Zaira’s existance: in the land of all opportunities Zaira’s daughter has a relationship with her stepfather. Just as traumatic, the return to Romania to look for her first and one true love turns into an exercise of remapping and acknowledging the past.
– by BIZULEANU DANA