Poisoned Pen Press
Are we all victims of our heritage?
Ildiko Palmay lives as a single working woman in Chicago as a part time ESL teacher for the local community college in Chicago. She continues to maintain her relationships with family and friends from Hungary. She delights in making connections with her adult students as they share their cultures with each other as they attempt to become part of the American culture. She is perfect for this job since her family came from Hungary and brought much of their culture with them.
However, Ildiko is haunted by her mother's death. Her mother lost her life when she fell in front of a train. Ildiko has always questioned if she fell or was pushed. Her mother had plans that would not be consistent with someone planning to kill themselves. How do you ever discover the truth?
Much of Triptych reflects on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 when the country was occupied by Russia. During this time in Hungary, it was illegal for anyone to be taught the history of their country. The government at this time questions Evike about her family and whether they are part of the rebellion against Russia. Even though as a student she knows of her family's involvement, she refuses to confess to anything..
Her mother's twin sister is a teacher and she has disappeared during this time of rebellion. No one ever found any evidence of what happened to her when she was questioned by the authorities. She disappeared. Is she still alive? What happened? Could Ildiko's mother have discovered the truth when she visited Hungary? Since she died shortly after her trip, could this discovery be related to something in the past?
Alternating between a Hungarian neighborhood in Chicago in the 1980s and life in Budapest in 1956, TRIPTYCH is a family saga interweaving history into the mysteries of the past which haunt the present.
Margit Liesche writes from her family stories of life during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution against Russia and life in the country in the 1980s while Russia occupied Budapest. As a child, like one of the characters in the book, her parents worked as missionaries in China prior to World War II. Also, similar to the character in this novel, her childhood was spent in Chicago.
TRIPTYCH is a family saga with believable characters who care for each other interwoven into the rebellions in Hungary blending the past with the present in this wonderful page turner. The writing is hypnotic with the reader being in Ilkido's shoes for every step. Combining the past events into an organized and relevant story is as masterful as the woven TRIPTYCH being unwound and again stitched mixing the past with who we are today.